European Works Council Coordinators meeting 8 April 2005

The coordinators discussed:

Recent developments in European Works Councils such as in Veolia, Suez, Severn Trent, EDF, RWE, Leipzig Stadtwerke and other companies. An increase in activities is noted as EPSU and unions continue to cover more companies.

Corporate Social Responsibility

A presentation was made by a representative of the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) of the OECD on the Guidelines on Multinationals and how they could be used by a European Works Council. The agreement on corporate social responsibility of EDF and the Social Charter of Suez were presented with a focus on the implementation.

Revision of the European Works Council Directive

The recent Communication Restructuring and employment Anticipating and accompanying restructuring in order to develop employment: the role of the European Union COM(2005) 120 final, is also the second phase of consultation on the revision of the European Works Council. A first reaction is that putting revision of the EWC Directive in the same basket as restructuring is not appropriate

The role of European works councils in restructuring, outsourcing, relocation

A presentation was given of the work of EPSU on collective bargaining and the background paper on outsourcing. It is clearly the most important issue and discussion will continue. It is linked with the recent Communication of the Commission on Restructuring.

Guidelines for trade union involvement with the European Company

The European Metalworkers Federation has agreed guidelines. The Coordinators will use these guidelines to orientate their debate and discuss this at the next meeting.

Issues for the next meeting:

- Update on revision of the European Works Council Directive

- European Guidelines and European Company; Transposition

- Outsourcing and European Works Councils - reference document on best practice

- Information/ Communication of EWCs with members and workers