Agreement reached in SNB Suez Environment – EWC will organise a seminar for female workers representatives

The negotiating delegation – in red the representative of management Mrs Borralho. Picture courtesy Henk Hummelman (5th from right)
(14 June 2013) Following the decision of GdfSuez to deconsolidate Suez Environment it was necessary to establish a new European Works Council for Suez Environment (waste, water). A number of negotiating meetings took place to define the scope, the composition, work groups and resources for the EWC. The negotiations took as their point of departure the “old” agreement of GdfSuez and took place more or less at the same time as the negotiations in GdfSuez to adapt its agreement to the new situation.

It is one of the first agreements that includes the possibility for female trade union and works council representatives to meet. The meeting will take place in the first 2 years of the agreement and the Secretariat of the EWC will then consider what follow-up can be given to the seminar.

The following points are included:
- Definition of information and consultation as was already part of the GDfSuez agreement
- Subjects for consultation which also include: environment, research and development, issues of general economic interests, mobility, equality, health and safety, restructuring….
- For projects that touch more countries especially in the case of closures, restructuring etc. the EWC will be first informed.
- Several working groups:
-* Employment, education/training, equality, social reporting
-* Health and Safety
-* Water
-* Waste

These working groups will meet 2x per year and will have a smaller number of representatives as the EWC proper.

- A communication work group will be established to determine the way in which the EWC can communicate with the work force. This also includes the possibilities to organise a survey of workers in the company.
- The EWC will have a budget of 40.000 EUR each year to consider expertise it needs on complex legal and social issues. The agreement stipulates that all other costs are taken care-off by the employer.
- Delegates are up to 27 which meet twice per year and with a Secretariat of 11 persons that meets 6x per year. Both the EWC and the Secretariat meet over 2-3 days.
- The members of the EWC will have training of 4 days in the first year of the agreement and including on European institutions. There are 3 days of training foreseen for each of the other years. There is one day of training for all new members during the agreement.
- There will be 27 members with 2 for larger countries, 3 for Spain and more for France (as it has the largest workforce) During the preparations (workers’ side) a vote took place on the exact number of delegates as one colleague could not be convinced. All other members voted against, with one abstention.
- There will be 18 missions for members of the EWC each year. This allows members of the EWC to familiarize themselves with the situation in other countries
- The EWC will have means of communication including modern equipment (iPad e.g), administrative assistance, an office.
- The EWC can organise experts and expertise on the issues deemed important.

Given that Suez Environment will be party to several European, the text now says that the company will inform the EWC of the contents.

The Special negotiating group agreed the text and will recommend it positively. It is foreseen to be signed with the CEO of the Group Mr. Chaussade, 4 July 2013, Paris

The Special negotiating group had representatives from Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK. The EPSU Deputy General Secretary participated as expert. The final meeting took place 12-14 June 2013, Paris.


- For the agreement (EN/FR/DE/NL/ES/IT/SV/FI/CZ/PL)

- For a previous report.

For management participated Mrs Borralho and Mr. Neymont.

(click to enlarge)

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