Working towards European works councils in social care

Following a two-year project bringing together EPSU affiliates organising in the two social care multinationals - Norlandia and Colisée – major steps have been taken towards building company networks and potentially setting up European works councils.

Funded from the European Commission enabled EPSU to organise a series of meetings, allowing for exchanges between trade unionists in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain in the case of Colisée and Norway, Finland and Sweden in the case of Norlandia. The two companies are major players in a range of social services with Colisée growing significantly in recent years, particularly following its take over of the Belgian company Armonea.

The project mirrored an earlier European Commission-funded project which EPSU used to build company networks in the two large, French-based multinational care companies Orpea and Korian. This successfully led to the setting up of European works councils in both companies.

The latest project included six meetings, four of which were company-specific networking meetings – two each for Norlandia and Colisée. These were important in building a rapport between the trade unions and for them to discuss common issues across the companies. The project funding also allowed EPSU to commission research that provided a good basis of discussion at all the meetings in the project.

The research was carried out by the Notus consultancy and has been published in the form of two company reports and a summary horizontal report that identifies some of the main challenges in the two companies.