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

14th Hamburg Conference for European Works Councils and SE Works Councils

Hamburg, 27 + 28 June 2022 → see full programme

Will video conferencing soon be over?

The importance of EWC face-to-face meetings → more

Brexit and European Works Councils

Perfect chaos after recent court cases → more

In-house Seminars

Training for members of EWC or select committee → more

Works councils are increasingly confronted with cross-border corporate organizations. The EWC Academy in Hamburg (Germany) is a specialized, employee-oriented consultancy and training firm in this area.

Our website is available since January 2001 and presents 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
  • Legal opinions on EWC and SE disputes
  • 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 295 companies which represents around 25 % of all currently existing transnational works councils in Europe.




Up-to-date News
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    Centre-left government in Germany for the first time since 2005

    On 8 December 2021, the former Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (photo) was elected as the new Federal Chancellor. This means that the Social Democrats are once again the head of government in Germany, and for the first time in a three-party coalition...

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    European Works Councils may hold video conferences again

    As of 12 December 2021, European Works Councils, SE Works Councils, Special Negotiating Bodies, Conciliation Bodies and Economic Committees may again meet virtually. This was previously permitted between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021. The new regulation...

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    European Parliament wants minimum wage and to increase collective bargaining coverage

    On 25 November 2021, the European Parliament adopted a report calling for higher levels of collective bargaining coverage and more protection for trade union activities by 443 votes in favor, 192 against and 58 abstentions. If collective bargaining coverage in an EU country is...

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    Better protection for 5.5 million platform workers

    On 9 December 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive that aims to improve working conditions on digital platforms. Workers who meet certain criteria would automatically be classified as employees, unless the platform is able to prove otherwise...

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    European Parliament to extend democracy in the workplace

    476 members of the European Parliament voted in favour of strengthening employee participation rights at a plenary session held on 16 December 2021 in Strasbourg. There were 115 votes against and 99 abstentions. The resolution, entitled "Democracy at Work"...

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    Environmental competence for French works councils

    On 24 August 2021, a comprehensive law called "Loi climat et résilience" for short was adopted in France to combat climate change and to strengthen resilience in view of its impact. Its 305 articles contain important milestones in the fields of environment, energy, consumption, construction, transport and working life...

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    Will Polish EWC members lose their protection?

    If the right-wing populist ruling party PiS has its way, Poland will no longer belong to the EU's legal community. On 8 October 2021, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, which consists exclusively of members of the ruling parties, decreed that Polish law takes precedence over EU law...

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    Labour shortage in the Czech Republic coming to a head

    Czechia has had the lowest unemployment rate in the EU for many years; in October 2021 it was 2.6%. During the Corona pandemic, the country had to give up this top position only temporarily to Poland. Poland later fell back again, even behind the Netherlands...

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    Better coverage for collective bargaining in the UK

    On 27 October 2021, the German family-owned company Kostal from North Rhine-Westphalia lost a legal dispute in the UK Supreme Court against the trade union Unite in the last instance, thus making legal history. At Kostal's Rotherham (South Yorkshire) branch...

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    No restructuring without SE works council

    On 9 December 2021, the Versailles Court of Appeal issued a temporary injunction allowing Atos' SE works council to resume its work. The French IT group is one of the ten largest in the industry with 110,000 employees worldwide. After terminating the SE participation agreement...

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    Completely new territory for jurisdiction

    In recent years there has been an increase in litigation concerning the European Works Council. Most of the cases have concerned Anglo-Saxon groups, mostly from the USA, and companies in the packaging industry. One focus was Great Britain...

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    Austria's implementation of EWC Directive patchy

    On 15 December 2021, the European Works Council of Mayr-Melnhof Packaging filed a complaint with the Vienna Administrative Court. The first instance for setting fines, the Magistrate of the City of Vienna, had rejected an application by...

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    Application for sanctions against US group in Ireland

    On 27 December 2021, Verizon's European Works Council applied to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in Dublin for sanctions against the US group's management for failing to inform and consult on the sale of Verizon Media...

     

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    French energy group writes social guarantees into the purchase agreement

    On 5 November 2021, it was announced that Engie will sell its technical services division Equans, with 74,000 employees in 17 countries (including 27,000 in France alone), to the conglomerate Bouygues. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022...

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    Employer takes over chairmanship of SE works council with voting rights

    Edenred from Issy-les-Moulineaux (near Paris) has been operating as a European Company (SE) since 9 June 2021. The company is the inventor of the Ticket Restaurant System and today the world market leader in meal vouchers...

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    SE conversion fails for the time being due to Corona pandemic

    On 29 October 2021, the Supervisory Board of Bechtle decided to terminate the plan to convert the company into a European Company (SE) for the time being. The grounds given for this was the Corona pandemic. Although the election of the...

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    Hamburg family business freezes one-third participation

    On 29 September 2021, an SE agreement was concluded for Eppendorf. Within a few days the world market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of equipment and consumables for clinical, environmental and industrial laboratories will be operating as a European Company (SE) and hereby permanently fix one-third...

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    Mobility service provider avoids full parity co-determination

    On 9 December 2021, Tier Mobility was converted into a European Company (SE). Founded in 2018, the startup from Berlin operates a digital platform for renting small electric vehicles and has 1,900 employees in 13 countries within the EU, including nearly 1,400 in Germany and 200 in Finland...

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    Logistics company renews EWC agreement

    On 6 September 2021, Geodis renewed its EWC agreement. The largest logistics company in France has 41,000 employees worldwide and has been a subsidiary of the French public railway company SNCF since 2008. The European Works Council was established in 2000, when Geodis was still independent...

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    Sustainable development as an EWC issue in the construction industry

    A revised version of the EWC agreement for the French construction group Eiffage was signed on 9 September 2021. The EWC has been in existence since 1998, but its responsibility for environmental issues and sustainable development is new. The company's climate report and...

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    Occupational health and safety in care services group

    On 16 November 2021, the management of Korian, the second largest European care services group, signed a protocol on health and safety including the prevention of occupational accidents with its European Works Council. The listed French group with 57,500 workers...

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    Growing pressure on German building materials manufacturer

    On 13 and 14 October 2021, 70 HeidelbergCement employee representatives from 20 countries discussed the impact of the Corona pandemic on the cement industry, occupational health and safety, clean technologies and global workers' rights in a video conference...

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    Strike at the world's largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery in the USA

    On 2 November 2021, 30 employee representatives of John Deere from Europe, Brazil and the USA met for a video conference to discuss the economic and collective bargaining situation in the company as well as joint strategies for social dialogue with management...

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    Spanish hotel chain with two global agreements

    On 4 November 2021 in Palma de Mallorca, RIU management signed two agreements with the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF) on trade union rights and against sexual harassment in the workplace...

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    No profit on Corona pandemic

    Since November 2020, a European Citizens' Initiative has been demanding concrete legislative action from the European Commission to make pandemic vaccines and treatments a global public good, freely available to everyone. Big pharmaceutical companies should not be able to profit from the pandemic at the expense of people's health or decide who has access to treatments or vaccines and at what price...

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    Digitalization of the working world in Central and Eastern Europe

    Since July 2021, a website presents the research results of a project on Industry 4.0, digitalization and artificial intelligence in countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The project, which is financially sponsored by the European Union, is being carried out jointly by employers' organizations...

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    The Digital Transformation in the construction industry

    The two-year EU-funded project DISCUS (Digital Transformation in the Construction Industry: Challenges and Opportunities) was concluded in October 2021. Project partners from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain were involved. They investigated digital transformation and technological change in the sector in a cross-country comparison and...

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    Database on collective agreements in Europe

    Since the beginning of November 2021, the results of collective bargaining as well as information on socio-political and economic developments in European countries are available in a new database. The European Federation of Industrial Trade Unions (industriALL) in Brussels hereby aims to help negotiators at national and local level to learn from the practice, trends and...

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    The age of surveillance capitalism à la Amazon

    In July 2021, the umbrella organization of service unions (UNI Global) presented a report on workplace surveillance at Amazon, the world's second largest private employer with 1.3 million employees (in the EU there are 100,000). The authors from the University of Toronto point out the barcode scanners that can be used to determine...

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    Strategies for targeted EWC information and consultation

    The results of a project carried out by the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) on some special aspects of the work of European Works Councils are available since September 2021. The project was tailored to the construction, building materials, cement and woodworking sectors...

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    Are trade unions allowed to communicate electronically with the workforce?

    The Corona pandemic with its lockdown and home office has left works councils and trade unions wondering how they can maintain regular contact with the workforce. What electronic means can they use to communicate? A legal opinion from the Hans Böckler Foundation was published in October 2021...

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    Enforcing human rights along global supply chains

    Legal tactics and good tools exist for transitioning from voluntary forms of corporate social responsibility to mandatory human rights due diligence. This study, published in October 2021, gives an insight into the legal toolbox and explains how trade unions can use them...

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    Europe's largest pharmaceutical retailer makes acquisition

    On 12 and 13 October 2021, the semi-annual meeting of the SE Works Council of Phoenix Pharma took place via video conference. The Mannheim-based company has 40,000 employees and is active in the wholesale of pharmaceutics in 26 European countries and has its own pharmacies in 14 countries. Since December 2016...

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    First training for European Works Council in new structure

    On 14 and 15 October 2021, the members of the EWC of KWS Saat met for the first time since the start of the Corona pandemic for a face-to-face meeting. The EWC Academy held a training session at the company's seminar house near Northeim (Lower Saxony)...

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    US pharmaceutical wholesaler accepts functioning EWC from day one

    On 2 June 2021, US-based Walgreens Boots Alliance sold almost all of its European business to AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceutical wholesaler. Germany, Ireland and a division in the UK remain with Walgreens Boots Alliance. Since the transaction was announced in January 2021, there has been extensive consultation with the EWC...

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    Will easyJet's EWC land in Berlin after Brexit?

    Since 31 August 2021, the EWC Academy has been supporting easyJet's employee representatives in finding a solution for the future set-up of their European Works Council. There is disagreement over the national law which is applicable after Brexit and the inclusion of the six British EWC members...

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    Annual EWC Conference in Hamburg

    The 13th conference for European and SE works councils took place on 13 and 14 September 2021 under Corona conditions. It was originally planned for January, but had to be postponed for several months due to the pandemic. Despite travel restrictions, 41 participants from eleven countries found their way to Hamburg...

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    Training for SE works council at adhesives manufacturer

    On 26 October 2021, EWC Academy conducted a training session as part of the biannual meeting of tesa's SE Works Council in Hamburg with several working groups. It was the first face-to-face meeting in a long time. In spring 2020, the adhesive manufacturer had...

 

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