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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



Single-member private limited liability company (SUP) Update state of play

(20 May 2015) Below is a state of play and updated timetables for the SUP (“Single-member private limited liability company”) discussions in the European Parliament. The proposed SUP generates serious concerns with regard to fiscal evasion, workers’ rights and sustainable corporate governance in general. If adopted, this Directive would be an open invitation to companies of all sizes to minimise their responsibilities under national law and to set up letter box companies. Workers’ rights to (...)

ETUI/EPSU Workshop on multinational corporations in the infrastructure sectors

(12 March 2015) On 9 March EPSU organised a workshop in cooperation with ETUI on multinational corporations in the infrastructure sectors, focusing on the energy sector. The workshop had two very interesting presentations; one by Jane Lethbridge (PSIRU) on financing of public infrastructure and one by Bettina Kampman (CE Delft) on Challenges and opportunities in the energy sector. We had a good debate about the need to invest in our public infrastructure and services, not only in new (...)

EPSU European Works Council coordinators network meeting

10 March 2015

Workshop on multinationals in infrastructure

9 March 2015

ETUC annual EWC Conference

(21 January 2014) The ETUC annual EWC Conference that was held on 30 September – 1 October 2014 was a great success, thanks to you and a huge participation of EWCs. We received the presentations that are available here and the reports that was presented with regards to (Occupational) Health and Safety. The reports are available here (EN/FR/DE/ES/IT) for your information and use to further improve Health and Safety conditions at your workplace. We would also like to recommend the GDF-SUEZ (...)

Project “Working together for European recovery: workers involvement in companies’ future as a cornerstone"

(13 January 2015) The project “Working together for European recovery: workers involvement in companies’ future as a cornerstone", has been approved for funding by European Commission (budget line VS/2014/003: Information, Consultation and Participation of workers representatives). The project, coordinated by Syndex, aims to support EWC members and Trade Unionists dealing with EWCs in strengthening their capacities to be a social partner in Multinational Corporations. The project consists in (...)

ETUC preparing for review of the EWC Directive - EWCs need resources to enforce information and consultation rights

(6 October 2014) Resources for European Works Councils to enforce respect by their employers of information and consultation rights and effective sanctions for companies that violate these rights are two of the main issues we should consider when discussing a review of the EWC directive, were two of the main points of the contribution of EPSU’s General Secretary to the annual conference of ETUC and ETUI on European Works Councils. He stressed that EWCs are often not sure who will pay for (...)

EPSU European Works Council coordinators network meeting

29 September 2014

Unions and EWC GDF-Suez denounce increase of subcontracting and “social dumping”

(19 June 2014) In the EWC meeting of 4 June, employee representatives from all European countries expressed their condemnation of the social conditions being experienced by employees in the group to the CEO of GDF Suez, Gerard Mestrallet. The EWC members alerted the Group’s management to the strong concerns of employees who, in many of the group’s business activities, such as services for example, are witnessing a draining away of skills and technical expertise in their business areas. In (...)

European parliament votes for rules on corporate accountability and business transparency

(22 April 2014) On 15 April 2014 the European Parliament (EP) adopted a reform to strengthen corporate accountability and transparency regarding the impact of businesses’ activities on human rights, the environment and society. The new legislation will require companies to disclose information about the policies and due diligence processes that businesses have in place to assess risks and to prevent adverse impacts of their operations. In the course of intense negotiations between the (...)

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