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

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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    Perfect chaos for European Works Councils following Brexit

    In the wake of Brexit, the British airline easyJet wanted to get rid of its European works council, which then took legal action, and now the company has two European works councils, one in the UK and another one in Germany. On 1 June 2021, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in London decided...

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    From British to Irish law: management can decide unilaterally

    On 18 January 2021, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in London dismissed a complaint by Verizon's European works council. The US telecommunications company had switched from British to Irish jurisdiction on 20 October 2020 following the expiry of the previous EWC agreement. As negotiations on a new agreement had previously failed to produce any result...

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    EWC agreement offers no protection for British delegates

    The major London bank HSBC has excluded its entire British workforce (40,000 employees) from its European Works Council after Brexit and now applies Irish law. As a result, the EWC loses eight of its twenty mandates. It filed a complaint with the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), which reached a decision on 22 June 2021...

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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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    Experiences with online bargaining in France

    On 7 May 2021, the French think tank, "Réalités du dialogue social" (Social Dialogue Practices), which includes 300 trade union officials, HR managers and government representatives, presented a survey on digital cooperation between social partners during the Corona pandemic. 27 HR managers and employee representatives explained in qualitative interviews their experience...

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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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    European Union seeking to reinforce collective bargaining

    On 7 and 8 May 2021, a social summit was held in Porto for the third time since the EU came into existence in order to discuss the implementation of the "European Pillar of Social Rights" (EPSR). This contains principles for fair, well-functioning labour markets and social systems and defines minimum standards which all EU countries...

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    Legislative initiative from the Green Party fails for the time being

    On 23 March 2021, the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group introduced a motion in the Bundestag entitled "Strengthening corporate co-determination - closing gaps in the law". It was discussed in the Committee for Labour and Social Affairs on 17 May 2021 and supported by the unions. It is based on demands from the Hans Böckler Foundation...

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    Act to promote works council work in the digital working world

    A reform of the Works Constitution Act came into force on 18 June 2021. In the Bundestag, in addition to CDU/CSU and SPD coalition factions, the Greens also voted in favour. The far-right AfD and the neoliberal FDP rejected the bill and the Left Party abstained. By means of this law...

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    Compensation for computerized dismissal of Uber drivers

    On 24 February 2021, the Amsterdam District Court ordered the European headquarters of the US transport service provider Uber, to reinstate six drivers and pay them compensation. They were wrongfully dismissed because the decision was made automatically by the company's algorithm. Each driver is to receive between 8,200 and 20,200 € in damages...

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    Administrative fine for disregarding works council co-determination

    On 18 May 2021, the Darmstadt Labour Court imposed an administrative fine of 135,000 € on Opel, the German subsidiary of the Stellantis group. The works council in Rüsselsheim had not been consulted on 17 transfers and ten cases of changes to working hours. The court fixed the amount at 5,000 € for each case, half the legal maximum of 10,000 €...

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    British supermarkets must pay women better

    Even after Brexit, the European Court of Justice still has a positive influence on British labour law. On 3 June 2021, it ruled in favour of 6,000 female claimants who were paid less by the supermarket chain Tesco than men employed in delivery warehouses. The Court in Luxembourg regards discrimination not only in equal work, but also in "work of equal value"...

     

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    No evasion from social system through letterbox companies

    On 3 June 2021, the European Court of Justice stopped "forum shopping" in temporary agency work, a form of social dumping using letterbox companies in countries with lower social standards that post workers to countries with high labour costs. The case concerned the temporary work agency...

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    US aircraft supplier moves EWC to Germany

    As of 1 January 2021, TransDigm group has a European works council for 5,000 employees in eleven European countries, including half of them in the UK. The group was founded by the combined acquisition of numerous manufacturers of aircraft components and was initially owned by financial investors. Although it was covered by the EWC Directive, it had not yet had a European works council...

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    Control of subsidiaries through financial budgets is an issue for the EWC

    On 5 March 2021, the European works council of Adecco won a case before the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in London. The central management of the Swiss HR provider and temporary staffing firm had neither informed the EWC about planned mass redundancies nor disclosed any business figures for individual countries...

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    French electronics designer establishes EWC

    On 26 January 2021, an agreement was signed at the headquarters of Lacroix Electronics in Montrevault-sur-Èvre (Loire region) to establish a European works council. The company designs and manufactures printed circuit boards for automotive industry, healthcare, aerospace and building automation (smart home). Designs are created at sites in France and Germany...

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    European divisional works council for French plastics manufacturer

    On 6 May 2021, a voluntary agreement to establish a "Committee for European Economic and Social Dialogue" was signed at Hutchinson's headquarters in Paris. This type of EWC is outside any legal obligation. Hutchinson produces body sealing and belt drive systems for cars, aircraft and other industries and...

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    Co-determination eliminated in two steps

    Müller - Die lila Logistik has been operating as a European Company (SE) since 2 March 2021. The company is based in Besigheim (near Stuttgart) and has a total of 1,500 employees at 16 locations in Germany and three in Poland. Müller designs and develops complete logistics concepts in the area...

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    French automotive supplier establishes SE works council

    Valeo has been operating as a European Company (SE) since 9 March 2021. With 110,000 employees, the company is one of the ten largest automotive suppliers in the world. The SE participation agreement was signed in Paris on 28 January 2021. The former European works council will be replaced by...

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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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    Establishing a permanent framework to adapt to crisis situations

    On 10 May 2021, the central management of the Italian insurance group Generali signed a joint declaration with its European works council on the Corona crisis. It already points beyond the pandemic and is intended to serve as a template for any major crisis in the future...

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    French electronics group promotes skills development

    An enhanced framework agreement on skills development and career paths was concluded in Paris on 8 June 2021 between the central management of Safran, a manufacturer of aircraft and defense electronics, and the European trade union industriALL. It builds on an agreement reached in March 2015 and covers the European Single Market...

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    Health and safety at French catering and facilities management provider

    On 15 March 2021, Sodexo's group management concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Federation of Food Workers' Unions on occupational health and safety in the catering industry. Sodexo operates catering and facility management for companies, government agencies, educational institutions and...

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    First global company agreement on remote work

    On 26 April 2021, Renault's central management signed a global agreement with the trade unions on the key principles for teleworking. It applies to 180,000 employees of the French car manufacturer, which has 40 production sites in 16 countries, outside Europe particularly in Latin America...

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    British raw materials group consults with unions every six months

    On 10 May 2021, the central management of Anglo American, which has its headquarters in London, reached a written agreement on future cooperation with the Global Industrial Trade Union industriALL in Geneva. The company employs 95,000 people, particularly in southern Africa, Latin America and Australia...

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    Evading collective bargaining under the threat of redundancies

    On 22 April 2021, the British trade union Unite launched a targeted campaign against "fire and rehire" tactics. This consists in dismissing workers if they do not sign a new employment contract on worse terms. In February 2021, the Scottish Supreme Court put a stop to this scheme...

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    "Operation Sunrise" provokes pan-European day of action

    On 19 April 2021, trade unions from 16 countries organized a day of action at the US Corporation IBM to protest against plans to slash 10,000 of its current 90,000 jobs in Europe. IBM wants to spin off its old IT business into a completely new entity called Kyndryl. The mass redundancies are incomprehensible to the workforce...

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    Public procurement to be linked to collective agreements

    On 28 April 2021, the European Federation of Services Workers' Unions (UNI) launched a campaign in Brussels to change the rules on public procurement by local authorities, governments and state agencies. Almost 14% of the EU's gross domestic product is provided by private contractors in this way...

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    Citizens' dialogue on the future of Europe

    On Europe Day held on 9 May 2021, the Conference on the Future of Europe was ceremonially launched in Strasbourg. The conference is a dialogue process via digital platforms and citizen panels in 24 languages that will run for a whole year and has never been done before...

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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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    Trade unions and the digital transformation in selected countries

    On 28 April 2021, the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation published a booklet examining how trade unions are confronting the new world of work in the digital age. The project "Trade Unions in Transformation 4.0" examined how trade unions and new organizations of workers are building power, in twelve multilingual case studies...

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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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