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

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US Conference for members of European Works Councils

Berlin, 18 - 20 September 2017 more >>>

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Seminar in Gdańsk 18 - 20 October 2017 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 265 companies which represents around 21 % of all currently existing transnational works councils in Europe.




Up-to-date News
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    Fast track adoption of "XXL Labour law"

    Emmanuel Macron is the new president of France since 14 May 2017. The former economy minister of his predecessor François Hollande had left the socialist party and launched a new movement ("La République en Marche!"), which in the future will benefit from an absolute majority in the national assembly...

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    Unilever plans to sell its margarine business

    On 6 April 2017, Unilever announced plans to sell its margarine division before the end of 2017. This will concern 1,100 workers, including 300 in Germany and the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group will hereby lose one of its two historical pillars. "Leaving the margarine business is like tearing the heart out of the Unilever group", states EWC chairman Hermann Soggeberg...

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    Disputed merger of gas producers

    In a long ten-hour meeting held on 1 June 2017 in Munich and following a contested vote, the supervisory board of the technology group Linde agreed to merge with the US group Praxair. As a consequence, Linde and Praxair have become the world's largest manufacturer of industrial gases. A part of the investors and the unions take a critical stance towards the merger...

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    New rules for Japanese car manufacturer

    The Honda EWC agreement was updated on 28 February 2017 in Brussels. It falls under UK jurisdiction, but as a "voluntary" agreement is not subject to the EU Directive and therefore is also not legally binding. The European works council ("Honda European Communication and Consultation Group") is a joint body, including one half management representatives...

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    French foodstuffs group updates EWC agreement

    A new EWC agreement under French jurisdiction was signed for Bonduelle on 22 March 2017, at their headquarters in Villeneuve d'Ascq near the Belgian border. Through multiple acquisitions, the company with its 10,000 employees has grown to become the largest processor of vegetables in Europe and is a majority-owned family business...

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    Two European works councils to merge

    A EWC agreement for LafargeHolcim was concluded on 27 March 2017 in Paris. The world's largest building materials manufacturer was founded in July 2015, following merger and has its headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona on Lake Zurich. The forerunning companies had already European works councils in place dating back from the mid-90s...

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    German clothing chain with full-parity supervisory board

    An SE participation agreement was signed on 6 July 2016 at the headquarters of Tom Tailor in Hamburg. The registration as a European Company (SE) took place on 18 April 2017. The textile group has around 6,600 employees in 12 EU Member States and is one of the few companies in the industry, who from now on, has supervisory board employee representation...

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    German automobile club spins-off subsidiaries into a SE

    An SE participation agreement was signed on 8 February 2017 at the headquarters of ADAC in Munich. The 19 million-member strong automobile club which was founded in 1903 has spun-off its commercial activities (breakdown assistance, rescue-helicopter, car hire, and financial services) into a new company. The association chose hereby the SE legal form for a parent company with 37 subsidiaries...

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    French IT Service provider with codetermination

    An SE participation agreement for Capgemini, the technology and consulting group, was signed between the Special Negotiating Body and central management on 30 March 2017, in Paris. With 190,000 employees it is the world's largest business consultancy of European origin and has been operating as a European company (SE) since 2 June 2017...

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    Major French bank wishes to combat work-related stress

    A pan-European agreement for the prevention of work-related stress was signed for BNP Paribas on 10 January 2017 at their headquarters in Paris. The contracting parties include the European works council and two European trade union federations. BNP Paribas is not only the largest commercial bank in France, but in the entire Eurozone...

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    Strategic personnel planning in French electrical engineering group

    An agreement on employment and skills development was signed for Schneider Electric on 19 May 2017 at the group's headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris. The contracting parties were the chair of the SE works council, nominated by central management (the works council is always chaired by the employer in France) and the European industrial trade union federation (industriALL)...

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    Italian food producer promotes industrial safety across Europe

    A pan-European agreement on occupational health and safety was concluded for Barilla, the world's market leader in pasta products, on 31 May 2017 in Parma. The city of Parma in the north Italian province of Emilia-Romagna is famous for cheese, ham and noodle specialties...

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    Norwegian personnel service provider secures global social dialogue

    Central management of OSM Aviation signed an agreement with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in London on 6 January 2017 covering freedom of association, collective bargaining and the recognition of employee representatives for all of its 3,000 staff. OSM Aviation recruits and trains pilots and cab personnel in 18 countries and hires them out to airlines...

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    Renewed framework agreement for French parcel service

    An international framework agreement was signed for GeoPost on 14 March 2017 at their headquarters in Paris. The parcel service belongs to the state-run La Poste and had acquired the German parcel service (DPD) in 2001. GeoPost was the very first company in the courier, express and parcel services sector to have agreed upon cross-border standards for labour and social policies...

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    French retail group concludes framework agreement for the first time

    The central management of Auchan signed an international framework agreement with UNI, the umbrella organization of unions in the services industry on 17 March 2017 at the holding's headquarters in Croix in northern France (near Lille). Auchan has a presence in 16 countries around the world and has 345,000 employees, including one third in China...

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    Change in German EWC legislation adopted

    On 2 June 2017 the German Bundestag - largely unnoticed by the public - adopted change to the European works council law (EBRG). This is the first change since 2011, when the recast EWC Directive in Germany was transposed. For the first time the new article 41 a opens up the possibility of organizing EWC and SNB meetings by video conference, including the adoption of resolutions...

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    French Supreme Court rules on "voluntary" EWC agreement

    On 1 February 2017, in the Palace of Justice of Paris, a court ruled on the application of a British EWC agreement, which was concluded in 1996 before EWC legislation came into force and therefore as a "voluntary" agreement is not subject to the EU Directive. Although a "voluntary" EWC agreement cannot be challenged in court in London...

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    EWC members to remain in office until the end of their term

    The Versailles appeal courts ruled on 14 March 2017 on the request for the removal of two French delegates from the European works council of the Axa insurance group. Both representatives which include the EWC general secretary had decided in 2015 to change unions from the social-democratic inspired CFDT to the union for professional and managerial staff, CFE-CGC...

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    Collective bargaining coverage after transfer of undertakings

    On 27 April 2017, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on wage agreement coverage after transfer of undertaking. If a company is sold, then the new owner can well continue to be bound by collective agreements, even though the company itself is not bound to collective bargaining...

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    New Study on developments in the SE landscape

    On 31 March 2017 there was a total of 132 SE works councils in Europe including also administrative or supervisory board employee participation in 67 cases. Over 80% of these SE conversions (109 out of 132) can be attributed to Germany, since German employers are keen to exploit this for limiting codetermination rights...

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    Monitoring job market reforms

    Since autumn 2016 the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels has been running the "Reformswatch" website with background information on all 28 EU Member States. Basic information on industrial relations is available for each country, together with the latest news on labour law reforms and developments in collective bargaining policy as well as on labour disputes. The website puts a special focus on old-age pension reforms...

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    Interactive risk assessment in 25 languages

    The European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU-OSHA) provides a set of on-line tools for better on-the-job risk assessment. Already more than 120 different tools are available which are tailored to cover 60 sectors of industry and professions and can be used in all 25 EU languages...

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    Social structuring of Industry 4.0

    German IG Metall trade union has been running an Internet Blog on the future of work since March 2015. It deals with the effects of digitalization, virtualization and Industry 4.0 and its social aspects. The forum is also suitable for works councils and presents some exemplary projects from individual companies and key issues for company agreements...

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    Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit or No Brexit?

    Completely unexpected on 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May announced an early snap election of the British House of Commons. She was seeking to strengthen her slight majority in Parliament to obtain greater backing for the negotiations on withdrawal from the European Union. However, in the election held on 8 June 2017, she narrowly failed to obtain a majority and since then, has been leading a minority government...

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    German-American trade union exchange

    The Transatlantic Labor Institute began operating in May 2016, situated in a suburb of Nashville, capital of Tennessee, close to a factory of General Motors. The training center was created jointly by IG Metall from Germany and the American United Automobile Workers union UAW. More and more German car manufacturers and suppliers are settling in the traditionally union-hostile Southern States without recognizing employee representation...

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    Labour relations in eleven EU Member States after the crisis

    This volume was published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva in March 2017 and deals with changes in social dialogue following the financial market crisis. The authors examine the developments starting from 2013, when many countries started to recover from the crisis. Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands are considered as positive examples...

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    Works council and industrial safety in Germany and Spain

    In April 2017, a thesis presenting a country comparison between Spanish and German legislation was published covering involvement rights for employee representatives to deal with psychological stress in the workplace. The author traces back the emergence of Spanish legislation on industrial safety, describes the role of industrial safety representatives and committees in Spain as well as in Germany...

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    Trade unions in Germany and Britain

    This thesis published at the beginning of June 2017, is devoted to the change in industrial relations and the trade-union umbrella organizations in Germany (DGB) and the United Kingdom (TUC). The trade unions in both countries are struggling against declining membership and sinking collective bargaining coverage. The author takes a look how they reacted to the global financial market crisis of 2008 and what were the recognizable symptoms in Britain and Germany...

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    Introduction to Italian Labour Laws

    This paperback was published in June 2017 and presents in German, a detailed overview of the currently valid labour laws in Italy. The numerous innovations in the reforms which were undertaken by the Renzi government in 2014 and 2015 in the so-called "Jobs Act" are extensively covered in the book and are listed in detail in the first chapter...

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    How do Polish trade unions get on with the government?

    In September 2013, more than 100,000 people held demonstrations against the liberal-conservative government (photo), led at the time, by the prime minister, Donald Tusk. It was jointly organized by the three major trade union confederations. In their opinion the government of the time was favoring "the rich and powerful", employers and "foreign capital" and almost never paid any attention to the interests of "ordinary people"...

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    EWC Initiation seminar in Montabaur Castle

    The annual introductory seminar for European works council members was held from 18 to 22 April 2017 in Montabaur. Besides labour relations within the largest EU Member States above all there was a focus on reinforcing the work of the EWC through the selective exploitation of consultation rights. Since the blueprint for the consultation procedure originated from France, the working experience there was of great interest in the seminar. The next initiation seminar will be organized after the German works council elections in 2018...

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    SE works council prepares for second term of office

    The SE works council of Fuchs Petrolub held a meeting on 9 and 10 May 2017 in their plant in Kaiserslautern (Germany). The ten members were trained by the EWC Academy on the competence and the role of a SE works council. Since new elections are due in 2018, the election procedures for the different countries involved were also covered...

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    Training in two media groups

    A bi-annual meeting of the ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE works council was held from 15 to 17 May 2017 in Unterföhring (near Munich). As last year, the EWC Academy provided training on the consultation procedure. The media group had converted to a SE in 2015 and used the so-called German "Tendenzschutz" (special protection of enterprises in the field of politics, press, education and churches) in order to keep the supervisory board free from any employee representation...

 

   EWC Academy GmbH - Rödingsmarkt 52 - 20459 Hamburg - Germany