4th EWC meeting in Suez Environment on Agreement on Strategic Workforce Planning

(2 June 2015) European Works Council’s Representatives from Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Spain met on 28 of May to further discuss the transposition of the Gdf-Suez European Group Agreement on Strategic Workforce Planning into the new company SUEZ Environment. The negotiations focused on having a joint view on the Suez environment related to regulatory changes, new customer behavior, increased competition and the transformation of the business model. The agreement aims to develop guidelines to adapt to these changes in following four areas: - Anticipating changes to business activities - Integrating, maintaining, and developing the skills needed for current and future business activities, - Promoting the tools that can help employees to evolve through their professional life, and in particular - Supporting employability of employees The trade union side emphasized the important role of the employer for informing and consulting employees in anticipation of restructuring business activities and would like to see it included in the agreement. Furthermore, the discussions focused on how Suez can reinforce the development and adaption of skills due to technological developments and digitization. Of utmost importance is the development of these necessary skills for workers that are at the end of the human resources chain with atypical working hours and physical jobs that need up-skilling and re-skilling to adapt to further organizational changes. The trade unions and European Federation play a crucial role in identifying the skill needs and dysfunctioning training requirements for all workers in Suez Environment. Moreover, the trade union side mentioned the importance of linking this agreement to other group agreement such as promoting health and safety and promoting equality. It also underlined the lacking implementation of the former agreement on strategic workforce planning in Gdf-Suez, where no implementation measures have been taken by the company.