(29 June 2022) French multinational care company Korian has signed an agreement to establish a new European Works Council (EWC). The company has converted into a European Company (SE) and therefore needed to renegotiate the existing European Works Council agreement.
Following 6 meetings of the Special Negotiating Body (SNB), an agreement was reached. The members of the SNB and EPSU -who accompanied the SNB - signed the agreement on Tuesday, 28 June 2022. The agreement was strengthened to give more training leave and a stronger role of the Steering Committee. Innovative elements such as representation of workers in cooperatives that are in agreement with Korian in Italy remain. Participation of UK representation is also foreseen.
A meeting of the current EWC took place on Wednesday, 29 June. It agreed on workers’ representation in the Conseil d’Administration following a vacated seat. Other issues on the agenda included the finance and strategy of the company, corporate responsibility and more. The meeting took place in Paris. EPSU’s Tuscany Bell participated.
Korian is the first multinational care company with an EWC and the first with a negotiated one. It has worked with the works council on issues such as health and safety, equality and environmental obligations.
The company contrasts sharply with fellow French multinational care company ORPEA. ORPEA’s EWC was established only in response to legal obligations and the inability of its management to conclude an agreement, reflecting the company’s anti-union management. ORPEA faced EPSU French affiliates CGT, CFDT and FO in court on Thursday, 23 June. The unions complain management favours a yellow in-house union, a line it continued by concluding a global agreement without consultation with the company’s major unions. French unions have asked the global union federation that made this deal with corrupt management to withdraw it. ORPEA has also faced strike action as its management did not pay a bonus promised to its