First negotiating meeting on transnational company agreement on well-being at work in GdfSuez

(30 April 2014] Following discussions in the European Works Council of the company, management proposed to open negotiations on a European company framework agreement on well-being at work with the European trade union federations EPSU and IndustriAll-Europe representing the workers and their unions. Both federations obtained a mandate from their respective members. The French company GdfSuez and the European trade union delegation opened the negotiations on 29 April 2014. The trade union delegation met on 28 April to prepare. Management had sent a draft text. The trade union delegation considered the many topics as well as factors that relate to well-being at work. There are many and some of these are reflected in an agreement on prevention of psycho-social risks between the French unions and management. That agreement of 2010 responded to the demands at the time as a number of workers had committed suicide in large French companies such as France Telecom and work pressures especially relating to restructuring of the companies, contributed to this. The preparatory meeting reflected on the factors that contribute to well-being at work including the contents of work, the work organisation, achievement and personal and professional development possibilities, health and safety, reconciliation of professional and personal life, addressing risks and prevention, stress and restructuring, wages and fragmented workplaces. One of the main topics in the negotiation will be related to the resources and the method of implementation of the agreement ensuring that the agreement is implemented in the subsidiaries of GdfSuez in the different countries while allowing for national and local differences to be taken into account. The union side agreed to work on an agreement that includes the following headings (non-exhaustive) and will be developed: - Preamble - Objectives - Scope - Resources, and the measures to be taken to achieve well-being - The implementation/ plan of action - The follow up to the agreement (benchmarks, surveys….) Management started the meeting by referring to the history of the 2010 agreement, and the interprofessional agreement in France agreed in 2013. It also presented a number of actions and initiatives that are currently underway in the company and which could feed into the discussions between the unions and management as to the sort of actions that can be undertaken. The trade union delegation had representatives from Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Roumania, Spain took part. Delegates from Austria, Netherlands, UK were excused. The meeting took place in Paris. For EPSU participated the Deputy General Secretary. Next meetings foreseen are: 15 (afternoon), 16 (morning) May for preparation, 16 June (negotiating with management), 9 and 10 September 2014.