Respect Social Partner Agreement on EWC Directive say EPSU Coordinators

(23 October 2008, Brussels) The main topic of discussion of the EPSU EWC Coordinators meeting was the Revision of the EWC Directive and the agreements between ETUC and BusinessEurope. ETUC and BusinessEurope have sent a number of improvements they agree upon for the revision of the Directive to the French Presidency. Colleagues had questions about the procedure of decision-making as well as concerns regarding the contents and if BusinessEurope had not abused the political context. Reiner Hoffmann, ETUC Deputy General Secretary explained what ETUC had been doing and why certain positions were taken. EPSU supports these positions.

Other issues considered where:

- Update on developments in a number of different companies such as Rayn-Sells, (Swedish waste company) Capio and Unilabs, Ambea (Swedish health care holding), ENEL, Eon and many others. Some time was spent on the negotiations to establish a new EWC in Suez GdF. And to underline how the financial crisis caused by lax government regulations, the economy some EWCs start having discussions on how the financial crisis is impacting on the companies. Investment programmes are scaled down.
- Romuald Jagodzinski of the European Trade Union Institute presented the outlines of the regulation on the European Private Company Statute. This should allow small and medium sized businesses the flexibility to create European companies without too much regulatory burdens. The unions considered however that the regulation is not clear, impacts on workers' rights and allows businesses to circumvent and undermine workers' participation systems in several member states'.
- The main discussion concerned the procedures to be adopted in the case of transnational agreements. Extensive discussions took place on deciding on the agreements. The subject will return at the next meeting.

Date of the next meeting is 13 May 2009, Luxembourg
(The Standing Committee will meet 14 May 2009, Luxembourg).