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TNCs and EWCs

Transnational Companies and European Works Councils

Public service unions prefer that basic and essential services such as the supply of electricity, health care, drinking water and refuse collection remain under public control. EPSU and PSI bring together the experience of workers and citizens to show how public services can be efficient, effective and responsive to citizens’ needs.

As local authorities and other public bodies privatise and contract-out services, workers and their unions delivering services to the public deal more with transnational companies. Our research shows that there is a grave risk that these companies dominate local communities.

EPSU and PSI aspire to establish European and international trade union structures for workers in transnational companies. These trade union platforms will grow to be effective counter-vailing powers to international management. We work to ensure that transnational companies, their sub-contractors and suppliers respect human and trade union rights. Our work on social clauses in procurement is part of that effort. Public service unions aim to negotiate fair and decent social standards for workers in these services.

European and international trade union structures in transnational companies and industries are part of the efforts of all those aiming to create a world civil society and to prevent that the run-away forces of free market and corporate greed dominate the lives of workers, citizens and their communities. These pages therefore aim to provide resources for trade unions and others on transnational companies.


- EWCs agreements



EPSU European Works Council coordinators network meeting

27 January 2014 Luxembourg, Plateau du Kirchberg, Jean Monnet Building, room M3 You are herewith invited to the meeting of the EPSU European Works Council Coordinators Network. It will take place on 27 January 2014 in Luxembourg, plateau du Kirchberg, Jean Monnet Building, room M3. The meeting will start at 9h00 and will end at 16h00. An area map is enclosed for information. Interpretation has been requested to and from English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish. We have also (...)

Resolution of the EU Parliament on Cross-Border Collective Bargaining and Transnational Social Dialogue

(13 November 2013) Below you will find a letter from ETUC concerning the Resolution of the EU Parliament on Cross-Border Collective Bargaining and Transnational Social Dialogue in English and French. The Resolution is a step forward for more a better TCAs. Triggered by Mr. Thomas Handel (GUE), the debate involved all the political forces of the European Parliament in an intensive debate. This final text is a valuable compromise which gathered the positive vote of 80% of the MEPs (from GUE, (...)

Building the information and consultation mechanisms for the Enel EWC members and HR managers within an international dimension

(6 November 2013) On 3-5 September the ENEL European Works Council and some members of the Global Works Council participated in a training project: “Building the information and consultation mechanisms for the Enel EWC members and HR managers within an international dimension”. The training took place at the ILO International Training Center in Turin. EPSU was present and provided a presentation on lifelong learning in Europe and in European framework agreements or social partners’ (...)

Trade union training on CSR - Open call for tender

(22 October 2013) ETUC has published the final report “ Corporate Social Responsibility – Union Thinking on the EU Strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility”. The publication represents the final output of the CSR project ran by the ETUC in 2012/2013, with the financial support of the European Commission. It identifies trade union priorities in the field of CSR for the years to come, in particular in the framework of the renewed EU strategies. Please find the English and the (...)

EPSU EWC coordinators network meeting (Joint meeting EPSU/PSI)

The next EPSU EWC Coordinators Network meeting will be combined with a PSI Global Energy Meeting. Therefore we would like to stress that this meeting will be of interest mainly to the EWC Coordinators in the energy sector. A ‘normal’ EWC Coordinators meeting will be held in Spring 2014. The meeting will take place on 24 and 25 September in Luxembourg, plateau du Kirchberg, Jean Monnet Building, room M2. The meeting will start at 9h00 on Tuesday 24th and will end at 16h00 on Wednesday 25th. (...)

New European Works Council agreement for Belgian transmission company ELIA

(6 September 2013) A new EWC agreement has been signed for the Belgian transmission company ELIA. EPSU affiliate Gazelco participated in the negotiations. An important characteristic of this EWC is that it is a joint body including 8 management representatives. The Steering Committee has 4 workers’ representatives and 3 management representatives. ELIA is a majority publicly-owned company. The main shareholder is the Belgian municipal holding company Publi-T. The Elia Group hold 60% of the (...)

EPSU protests against dismissal and zero-hour contracts of SERCO workers

(29 August 2013 - update) Strike called off GMB calls off strike after SERCO improved its offer Following action of the workers, their union and support from EPSU, SERCO came back with an improved offer that the workers have accepted. Subsequently the strikes foreseen have been called off. Concerns remain as other workers employed by Serco to train army recruits do have zero-hour contracts. GMB continues its pressure and including on the UK ministry of Defense to change the conditions (...)

ETUC Health and Safety conference shows: Worker participation is key to promote health and safety at work

(2 July 2013) Experience gathered in several EU Member States has shown that it is helpful to adopt a strategy that combines health and safety representation within companies with regional or site representation for very small companies. Unions through their activities have a key role to play in giving new impetus to health and safety policy. This activity rests on the promotion of the role of worker H&S representatives, ‘Safety Reps’, to increase the visibility of workplace H&S (...)

New report: Non-financial reporting beyond the strict minimum: is the workforce a well-informed stakeholder?

(13 March 2013) A new report of Jan Cremers (University of Amsterdam) for the European Trade Union Institute on non-financial disclosure shows how little is existing in Member countries to force companies to report on Corporate social responsibility. Jan Cremers, a former union colleague, now working at the Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Labour Studies summarises the results of an inquiry by the ETUC company policy network on the current legal framework and practices in 28 European (...)

EPSU European Works Council coordinators network meeting

27 February 2013, 9h00 – 16h00 The International Association Center (M.A.I, Maison des Associations Internationales), Room Washington, Rue Washington 40, 1050 Brussels You are herewith invited to the meeting of the EPSU European Works Council Coordinators Network. It will take place on 27 February 2013 in The International Association Center (room Washington), rue Washington 40, 1050 Brussels. The meeting will start at 9h00 and will end at 16h00. An area map is enclosed for information. (...)

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