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

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

Hamburg, 24 + 25 January 2022 → see full programme

Mass exodus to Irish EWC jurisdiction

Brexit reveals a poor transposition of the EWC Directive in Ireland → 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 292 companies which represents around 25 % of all currently existing transnational works councils in Europe.




Up-to-date News
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    Leading German stock index: fewer women and fewer employee representatives

    On 20 September 2021, the German Stock Index (DAX) was expanded from 30 to 40 companies. The reason behind this reform were events surrounding the payment service provider Wirecard in June 2020, which required the DAX to change its image. However, if one considers the proportion of women...

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    New initiative for a Framework Directive

    On 1 July 2021, the draft report on "Democracy at Work" was discussed within the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. It calls for a framework directive on information, consultation and board-level participation of employees to consolidate existing directives (including EWCs, SEs, SCEs, information and consultation at local level, company mergers)...

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    Sobering analysis from France

    TIn June 2021, the French Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), which has close ties to the trade unions and is comparable to the German Hans Böckler Foundation, presented an inventory of framework agreements within multinational companies. Three types can be distinguished. At the global level...

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    French IT group dissolves SE works council

    Atos management is currently able to carry out restructuring without any transnational information and consultation. The SE works council no longer exists. The IT service provider in the Paris suburb of Bezons on the banks of the Seine has 110,000 employees, as a result of...

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    EWC videoconferences seen as poor alternative to face-to-face meetings

    On 26 March 2021, the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels presented the results of an online survey. In early 2021, 476 members of European works councils from almost all European countries were interviewed over a period of two months in order to investigate the impact of the Corona pandemic on their actual EWC work...

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    EU rejects Switzerland's high social standards

    On 26 May 2021, the negotiations for a framework agreement aimed at creating a closer link between Switzerland and the EU broke down. During the negotiations that began in 2014, the EU was not prepared to accept the principle of "equal pay for equal work in the same workplace". The trade unions in Switzerland therefore supported the breakup of...

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    Impending collapse of the collective bargaining system in Finland

    One-fifth of all Finnish exports come from the wood and paper industry which therefore represents an important sector of the country's economy. On 1 October 2020, the employers' association announced that it would no longer sign any industry-wide collective agreements in the future. When the current agreements expire in 2022...

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    Independence referendum in Scotland planned within two years

    As expected, the supporters of an independent Scotland as a member of the EU won the parliamentary elections held on 6 May 2021. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (photo) from the left-liberal Scottish National Party (SNP) missed the absolute majority by only one seat and formed a coalition government with the Greens...

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    Imminent change of government in Norway

    Jonas Gahr Støre from the Social Democratic Labour Party (photo) is expected to become the new prime minister. In the parliamentary elections held on 13 September 2021, five red-green parties were able to win a majority over the conservatives, who have been in office since 2013. For the first time in twenty years...

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    Fine against computer-based discrimination

    On 5 July 2021, the Italian Data Protection Authority fined Milan-based food delivery service Foodinho 2.6 million € for the unlawful use of algorithms. The company belongs to Glovo, a Barcelona-based start-up that operates in 21 countries. Foodinho had not adequately informed its 19,000 drivers on how the algorithms worked and...

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    British arbitration committee contradicts itself

    On 11 August 2021, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in London announced the second part of its decision regarding the major British bank HSBC. The company had excluded its entire British workforce from the EWC as of 1 January 2021 and now applies Irish law. On 22 June 2021, the CAC had declared...

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    Trade unions lose once again in second instance ruling

    On 2 September 2021, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected an appeal by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) against a first instance ruling of 24 October 2019 (see report in EWC News 4/2019). This means that the trade unions have now finally failed to enforce an agreement on...

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    Former Siemens subsidiary has its own EWC

    On 17 March 2021, an EWC agreement was signed for Siemens Energy, based in Munich. The energy technology group has been listed on the stock exchange since September 2020, and Siemens currently only holds a minority stake. Shortly after the IPO, central management announced that 7,000 of the 91,000 jobs worldwide would be cut...

     

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    EWC established in Norwegian technology group

    On 14 June 2021 in Kongsberg, west of Oslo, known for its former silver mine and home to the defense group of the same name, an agreement was reached to establish a European Works Council for its marine technology division. Kongsberg Maritime has 7,300 employees worldwide and produces systems for the positioning...

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    Small East German Chemicals Company establishes EWC

    An EWC agreement was signed for Domo Chemicals in Leuna (Saxony-Anhalt) on 29 June 2021. The company which produces plastics is owned by a Belgian investment firm and has grown substantially through acquisitions. The EWC represents 2,000 workers in six EU countries, including 700 each in Germany...

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    Family business from Bavaria escapes co-determination

    On 15 June 2021, an SE participation agreement was concluded for 1,900 employees of Dehn in Nuremberg. The electrical engineering manufacturer was hereby able to ensure that employee representatives will never be part of the supervisory board. A new SE works council ("European Employee Forum") will be set up, consisting of 13 members...

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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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    Packaging Holding avoids slipping into one-third board-level participation

    On 20 July 2021, an SE participation agreement was concluded at a Ringmetall production site in Berg (South Palatinate). The holding company, based in Munich, manages twenty companies representing 70% of the world market for clamping rings used for closing plastic barrels. 500 out of the 600 employees in Europe...

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    French conglomerate renews EWC agreement

    MOn 30 March 2021 an EWC agreement was signed in Paris for the French conglomerate Bouygues, replacing the previous agreement. The family-run business is the fifth largest construction company in Europe with 129,000 employees and the third largest French telephone network operator. It also controls the media group TF1...

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    Handling layoffs in a socially acceptable manner

    On 29 April 2021, an agreement on the socially acceptable management of the digital transformation was reached in Hanover for the TUI tourism group between its EWC and central management. The entire tourism industry has been hard hit by the Corona crisis and TUI's operations of travel agencies, hotels, airlines and...

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    Adapting co-determination to the digital age

    This was the headline under which the Volkswagen group presented its new software subsidiary Cariad SE on 26 March 2021. 4,000 engineers and developers are to increase the proportion of in-house-developed software in vehicles from currently ten to over 60%. This includes driver assistance systems, digital voice assistants, cloud-based navigation...

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    Food division in Dutch chemicals group continues with its own EWC

    OA revised EWC agreement under German law was signed for DSM Nutritional Products on 17 June 2021. The EWC covers the pharmaceutics and nutritional supplements' division of the Dutch DSM group, which is managed from Switzerland (Kaiseraugst near Basel). With 13,000 employees worldwide, it accounts for half of DSM's workforce...

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    Spanish department store group takes on responsibility for supply chain

    On 14 July 2021, the management of El Corte Inglés signed a framework agreement with the CC.OO. and UGT trade union confederations in Madrid. It reinforces the application of international human rights, labour, social and environmental standards in the global supply chain of the group's own brands and...

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    German automotive holding reinforces social responsibility

    OOn 1 September 2021, an International Framework Agreement was concluded for Daimler that significantly expands and enhances an older agreement from 2002. The management's contracting partners were the World Works Council and the International Federation of Industrial Trade Unions (industriALL) in Geneva. The agreement not only includes the core labour standards of...

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    Already over 100 groups support new agreement in textile production

    On 1 September 2021, a renewed "International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry" came into force. After only a few days, on 6 September 2021, the number of signatories surpassed the 100 mark. It replaces a five-year agreement concluded in 2013 on building and fire protection for textile factories in Bangladesh...

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    New online occupational safety and health dictionary

    On 23 March 2021, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched a new online service: a thesaurus containing 2,000 occupational safety and health terms in 25 languages. The individual terms are explained in detail in the selected language and translations of the respective technical term...

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    Biometric surveillance should be stopped worldwide

    On 7 June 2021, more than 200 human rights and data-protection organizations called for a complete ban on biometric surveillance technology. The use of facial recognition in public enables mass surveillance, but also discriminatory targeted surveillance. The technology is capable of identifying, singling out and tracking people everywhere...

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    New Social Dialogue Database

    The European Trade Union Institute in Brussels launched a new online database of agreements that have emerged from the European Social Dialogue on 29 June 2021. This is an institutionally anchored dialogue forum on social policy issues between trade unions and employers' organizations with the participation of the European Commission...

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    Environmental, social and economic sustainability in managerial staff

    The final conference of the project "Sustainable Leadership for a Fair and Green Transition" is planned for 26 November 2021. The project was carried out by the umbrella organization, CEC European Managers, together with managerial associations from Germany, Denmark and Slovenia with financial support from the EU...

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    Nordic-German Trade Union Cooperation for a Just Transition

    This synthesis of six country reports on "The Road to a Carbon Free Society" was published in March 2021. For all five Nordic countries and Germany the climate policies of the respective country and their economic and societal consequences were examined and the relevant national instruments were evaluated...

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    National collective bargaining traditions

    On 27 April 2021, the Federation of Service Sector Unions UNI, presented a report on collective bargaining systems in Europe. They depend on the political and economic conditions, traditions, and on the customs and practices of each country. Despite a great diversity, five geographical clusters can be identified. In Scandinavia and...

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    Digitalization guidelines for works councils

    In June 2021, the GPA trade union from Austria presented this brochure entitled "World of Work 4.1", which is to be understood as a further development of "Industrie 4.0". The authors describe how a works council can help shape the necessary processes "on an equal footing" with management. An overview with examples shows...

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    Changing the way trade unions work in Corona times

    On 12 January 2021, the London-based think tank, Unions21, published an international study on trade unions in the Corona pandemic. Their role was predominantly to protect jobs, keep the economy viable and to ensure worker safety. The author from the University of Sheffield looks at how they reviewed all aspects of their work...

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    SE fundamental issue on its way to the Federal Labour Court

    On 29 October 2020, the Hamburg State Employment Court rejected the application of the German Group works council of Olympus to establish a Special Negotiating Body. The central management of the Japanese group is resisting both the establishment of an SE works council and a European works council...

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    Safe and healthy working environment in pandemic times

    An updated Corona Guide from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was published on 25 January 2021. It provides guidance on how workers can stay safe and healthy in a pandemic work environment. This includes recommendations related to risk assessments, minimising exposure, returning to work...

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    China from the perspective of a German trade union official

    This book was published at the end of January 2021. Its author seeks to challenge the half-truths, prejudices and one-sidedness about China. He was formerly a works council member in a US computer company, a full-time employee of IG Metall trade union and lived in Beijing for several years...

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    SE negotiations in Hamburg Life Sciences Company

    Eppendorf's special negotiating body (SNB) was constituted in a video conference held on 20 January 2021. The world market leader in equipment and consumables for research laboratories with 1,983 workers in Germany, is on the verge of having to introduce full-parity co-determination on its supervisory board. Due to the Corona pandemic...

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    Japanese automotive supplier cuts staff due to Corona pandemic

    On 22 February 2021, the European works council of U-Shin commissioned the EWC Academy as consultancy firm for an imminent restructuring. Declining sales in the pandemic prompted the automotive supplier to stop manufacturing door locks in Europe altogether. By March 2022, the factory in Abrera near Barcelona will be closed and...

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    US cinema operator relocates EWC to Spain

    As a consequence of Brexit, the European Works Council of the Odeon Cinemas Group is no longer subject to UK law. Spain has the largest workforce within the EU. With the support of the EWC Academy, negotiations to adapt the EWC agreement have been ongoing since 26 March 2021...

 

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