EWC Academy - Academy for European Works Councils and SE Works Councils

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In-house Training

EWC Seminars on request: more >>>

Works councils are increasingly confronted with cross-border corporate organizations. The EWC Academy in Hamburg (Germany), as an employee-oriented consultancy and training firm, has specialized itself on the subject.

Our website, available since January 2001, presents the services for:

  • Workplace representatives in Germany and other countries
  • European works councils and SE works councils
  • Special negotiating bodies
  • Employee representatives in supervisory boards and workers' directors


Our offer includes:

  • Open seminars for individuals registering directly with us
  • In-house seminars for individual companies or works councils
  • Legal, economic and intercultural consulting
  • Strategies for the structuring of consultation procedures
  • Collaboration in relevant research projects, e.g. for the European Commission


The EWC Academy (and its forerunner organization) has so far trained and/or advised employee representatives from 260 companies which represents around 21 % of all currently existing transnational works councils in Europe.




Up-to-date News
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    High Court forbids EU withdrawal without a vote of parliament

    On 3 November 2016, the High Court in London ruled that the British Prime Minister may not trigger the request to leave the EU without beforehand, requesting permission from Parliament. The government appealed against the ruling and the case came before the United Kingdom's Supreme Court of Justice from 5 to 8 December 2016...

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    Right to home office at German car manufacturer

    The Daimler group's management and their German central works council reached an agreement in Stuttgart on 28 July 2016, concerning the new key facilities for mobile working. A company agreement from 2009 has been enhanced following the request of many employees and the possibility that tablet computers and smartphones...

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    French telecoms group regulates digital transformation

    On 27 September 2016, the management of Orange (formerly France Télécom) signed an agreement with three trade unions for the first time, on managing the digital transformation for its almost 100,000 French employees. Orange is the largest digital employer in France. It is the first agreement dealing exclusively with this topic concluded within...

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    Codetermination rights for works council in social networking

    On 13 December 2016, the German Federal Labour Court ruled that works councils have codetermination rights on the implementation of a company Internet website, if it allows visitors to post critical contributions on the achievements of individual employees. Employer and works council must first negotiate modalities before activating such comments...

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    Italian Spanish EWC training project

    The food unions of the CGIL trade union confederation from Italy and the CC.OO. from Spain present their joint EWC project on a website. It aims at qualifying EWC members from Conserve Italia, the delicatessen goods manufacturer and the Spanish meat processor, Campofrio...

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    Switzerland ignores the referendum on immigration

    The Parliament in Bern passed legislation on 16 December 2016 that continues to guarantee freedom of movement of EU citizens. It does not include any quotas for limiting access to the Swiss job market. An almost three year long dispute with the EU has hereby come to an end and at the last minute, exclusion from the European single market could be avoided. Extension to freedom...

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    German retail group splits in two

    The Euro-forum of Metro met on 23 November 2016 in Düsseldorf. It was the third extraordinary meeting concerning the forthcoming company split-up. The cash and carry and the hypermarket chain, real, are to be separated from the Metro group and the electronics businesses (Media-Saturn) to continue under the new name Ceconomy. The split-up will be effective starting from...

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    Toulouse becomes the real headquarters for Airbus Group

    Airbus central management informed the SE works council on 4 October 2016 that it wishes to consolidate the research and IT divisions of the Holding into the aircraft construction subsidiary and concentrate them in Toulouse. Many of the services based in the headquarters in Suresnes (near Paris) and Ottobrunn (near Munich) are to be relocated to the South of France...

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    EWC legal dispute: Grand Premiere in Austria

    For the first time since the existence of EWC legislation, labour courts in the Alpine Republic have to litigate on the violation of EWC information and consultation rights. On 1 June 2016, the EWC of Mayr-Melnhof, the packaging manufacturer filed a lawsuit with the Labour and Social courts in Vienna. Extraordinary meetings of the European works council were refused on...

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    Legal EWC workshop in Dresden

    Works council members from seven companies gathered from 26 to 28 October 2016 in Dresden to gain knowledge with past EWC case law, the structuring of EWC agreements and the application of EU legislation in cases of legal uncertainty. Since around half of the participants were working under British jurisdiction, the seminar also covered the most...

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    Improved consultations in Saudi Chemicals Company

    On 10 and 11 November 2016, the EWC steering committee of Sabic came for training to the EWC Academy in Hamburg. The company, which is owned by the Saudi Arabian State started acquiring European production plants from other companies in 2002, particularly in the Netherlands, where today the European headquarters are located, as well as in Germany...

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    Reconfigured EWC before merger even implemented

    The world's second largest building materials manufacturer will be founded following the forthcoming acquisition of Italcementi from Bergamo by HeidelbergCement. An agreement on the merger of both European works councils was concluded with the central management on 20 May 2016. Both bodies were established on a "voluntary" basis before...

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    French glass manufacturer establishes EWC

    A EWC agreement was concluded for Verallia, on 23 September 2016. The company has 10,000 employees worldwide (including 6,000 in Europe) and belonged until October 2015, to the French conglomerate Saint-Gobain, one of the world's oldest industrial enterprises. It was founded in 1665 as a glass manufacturer to equip the hall of mirrors in the Versailles Palace...

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    Company takeovers - what rights do works council have?

    In September 2016, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in Brussels published this analysis of the EU Takeover Directive. Such changes in ownership frequently lead to restructuring, changes in management, modified working conditions and mass redundancies. European and national work councils should be informed about acquisitions comprehensively and in...

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    European works council for Rubber factories

    A EWC agreement was concluded for the first time on 29 April 2016, for the 2,200 employees of Kraiburg Holding in Waldkraiburg (Upper Bavaria). This family business produces technical rubber mixtures particularly for the automobile industry and besides four German sites also has subsidiaries in Austria, Italy and Bulgaria. The EWC agreement has some outstanding...

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    US dairies group founds EWC under Spanish jurisdiction

    A EWC agreement for Schreiber Foods was signed on 23 November 2016 in Madrid. The EWC falls fully under the scope of the new EU Directive. 1,500 employees in Europe are represented by 13 delegates from five countries, including seven from Spain and two each from Czechia and Bulgaria. Portugal and Slovakia have one seat each. The negotiations could be concluded in...

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    Improved regulations for French electrical group

    A new EWC agreement for Legrand was signed on 22 June 2016 in Limoges (central France). With 36,000 employees, it is the world's market leader in the manufacture of electrical components. The EWC was established in 2000 and its agreement last revised in September 2013 (see report in EWC News 4/2013)...

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    No Board-level participation in Britain

    In a speech to the Congress of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), held on 21 November 2016 in London, Theresa May explained that she does not plan any legal obligation for board-level employee participation. She had promised this during the election campaign for party leadership in July 2016 and at the Conservative's Party Congress at the beginning...

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    Better protection for Whistleblowers in Sweden

    Legislation which protects employees against reprisals for denouncing corruption or serious wrongdoings in the workplace, came into force on 1 January 2017 in Sweden. There should be no reduction or withholding of pay nor any change in their career prospects. For temporary agency workers, chances of extending their work contract must not be affected negatively...

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    Overseeing humane working conditions in the supply chain

    Whereas the German government relies on a voluntary approach in the matter, the French National Assembly passed legislation, on 29 November 2016, providing due diligence throughout the supply chain. In the future, large French companies are obliged to establish a mandatory "due diligence plan" and to counteract risks in the global supply chain...

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    Current stocktaking of labour relations in Italy

    The Institute for the Promotion of Employment in South Tyrol published a new manual on collective labour relations in Italy, in July 2016. Whereas Germany and Austria benefit from a strong codetermination, Italy is considered as country with a relatively weak employee participation. In general, fundamental principles governing industrial relations and...

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    German motorhome manufacturer renews EWC agreement

    A revised EWC agreement was signed for Hymer on 26 July 2016, at their company headquarters in Bad Waldsee (Baden-Württemberg). This family business is the European market leader in motorhomes and has 3,500 employees in six manufacturing plants in Germany as well as in France and Italy. Following company restructuring it was necessary...

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    Family Holding in Luxembourg updates EWC agreement

    A new EWC agreement for the BMT Group was signed on 10 November 2016 in the Jassy plant in Romania (photo). The EWC was established in 2007 under Belgian jurisdiction. The legislation of the Grand Duchy will now apply since the company headquarters has been relocated from Belgium to Luxembourg. The small holding controls five subsidiaries...

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    Carcinogenic substances in the workplace

    A new website was launched on 10 October 2016, to inform employees on the risks of carcinogenic substances. The six initiators, which include the European Trade Union Confederation and the employer federation, BusinessEurope, wish to foster awareness on the topic through a "Roadmap" and promote an exchange on innovative practices...

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    Critical voices in TUC head office

    The ToUChstone Blog is an informal platform, where staff members of the national head office of the British Trade Union Confederation (TUC), may express themselves on current political topics. The contributions do not necessarily represent the official opinion of the TUC. The opinions also deal with topics on which there has not yet been an official position taken...

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    Fight against works councils

    For some years now there has been an increase in the number of cases of Union Busting in Germany, and in the meantime in some sectors the obstruction or hindering of work councils has become common practice. The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) has provided a dedicated website with a view to making these cases widely known to the public...

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    No codetermination for Japanese-controlled automobile supplier

    The automobile supplier, Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze from Wolfsburg has begun operating as a SE, since 25 October 2016.  With 26,000 employees in 14 countries, the company could hereby avoid codetermination. Without its conversion from a German to a European company, the German works council would have had the right to one third of the seats...

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    IT Service provider avoids employee supervisory board representation

    An SE participation agreement was signed for Datagroup on 17 August 2016 at their headquarters in Pliezhausen near Stuttgart. The company was entered in the register of commerce on 17 November 2016. Datagroup, with its 1,700 employees in 40 sites, belongs to the top twenty IT service providers in Germany. Above all, the SE conversion was aimed...

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    Family business dodges codetermination

    On 4 October 2016 an SE participation agreement was signed in Munich for the steel components group, Maurer, which has now been operating as SE since 21 November 2016. In the absence of this SE conversion, the manufacturer of roller coasters, bridges and earthquake protection equipment with 1,000 employees worldwide and around 500 in Germany...

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    Preparatory meeting for a world works council

    On 9 and 10 November 2016, employee representatives of the British arms dealer BAE Systems coming from Australia, Chile, the USA and the United Kingdom met in Mandurah, a coastal town in Western Australia, to co-ordinate their future strategy. The worldwide network was established in November 2014 and, since then, had only been communicating via video conference...

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    Italian tire manufacturer with strong trade unions

    The second annual meeting of the Pirelli trade union network was held on 30 November and 1 December 2016 in Turin. Participants from six countries in Latin America and Europe discussed the group's policies and working conditions. In these countries the Pirelli workforce is unionized to over 80%. In the future, the network wants to expand further towards...

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    Worldwide day of action at Swiss cement group

    Trade unions held a worldwide day of action at LafargeHolcim on 9 December 2016, to draw attention to the numerous violations against employee rights. Under criticism are the high number of deaths due to industrial accidents, precarious jobs and unwillingness of the company to conclude an international framework agreement with trade unions...

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    Negotiations on new EWC agreement in US company

    The select committee of Johnson & Johnson's European works council met on 5 and 6 December 2016 close to Brussels. A draft text for updating the EWC agreement was discussed with support of the EWC Academy. The consumer goods and pharmaceuticals group has a EWC in place since 1998 under Belgian jurisdiction, which falls completely under the scope...

 

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