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

British EWC law to be frozen

No new EWC bodies after Brexit → more

11th Conference for European and SE Works Councils in Hamburg

28 + 29 January 2019 → see full agenda

Training for EWC members (in English) for beginners and advanced

From 23 to 26 April 2019, Montabaur Castle, close to Frankfurt International Airport → see leaflet

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
  • 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 276 companies which represents around 21 % of all currently existing transnational works councils in Europe.




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    Breakthrough at Amazon in Italy

    The first Italian collective agreement for the on-line retailer was concluded on 22 May 2018 in the logistics centre in Castel San Giovanni (north Italy). According to the trade union FILCAMS it can be considered as "historical". The employees had discussed its contents in five workshop assemblies and had repeatedly gone on strike, also during the Christmas period...

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    Japanese brewery group with two EWC bodies

    A EWC agreement for the Asahi Breweries Europe Group was signed on 6 June 2018 in Pilsen. Five Central European beer brands, which Asahi had bought in March 2017 from the English group SABMiller, come under the umbrella of this new company, including the Czech market leader Pilsner Urquell. The transaction took place in the course of the acquisition of SABMiller by the Belgian beer group Anheuser-Busch InBev, in order to obtain approval from the anti-trust authorities...

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    Swiss HR Services Company integrates new EU Directive

    A revised EWC agreement for Adecco was signed on 24 May 2018 in Zurich. The company is the world's largest HR services provider with 33,000 full-time employees and over 1 million workers under contract. Starting from 1999, there was at first a forum ("Platform for Adecco Communication in Europe") under Irish jurisdiction, which later was transformed into a full-fledged European works council in 2013, under British jurisdiction...

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    French mining and building materials group updates EWC agreement

    The EWC agreement von Imerys was extended on 31 May 2018 in Paris. The EWC has existed since 2001 and also covers Switzerland. As usual in France, it is a mixed body under the chairmanship of the CEO, once per year. Employee representatives elect five delegates from five countries and from different divisions to make up the steering committee. They meet at least three times per year with the central management supported by a trade-union co-ordinator from Brussels, who is nominated by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)...

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    New rules for Italian petroleum group

    On 4 July 2018 in Saint Julian's (Malta), a revised EWC agreement was signed for Eni, the largest company in Italy and one of the most profitable in the world. The European works council was established in 1995 under a "voluntary" agreement between the group's management and the chemical industry unions of the three Italian confederations. The European Industrial trade union federation (industriALL) was also a party to the agreement...

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    Toolmaker from Münsterland freezes codetermination

    Technotrans from Sassenberg (Westphalia) has become a European Company (SE) since 28 June 2018. It has 1,200 employees in Germany who manufacture industrial cooling and fluid technology systems. There are additional sales offices in France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The SE agreement, which was concluded on 23 March 2018, includes a Brexit clause whereby the UK remains within the scope of the agreement regardless of its EU membership status...

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    Another family business avoids full-parity supervisory board

    The IT consulting firm, Materna Information & Communications, has been operating as an SE since 14 September 2018. The rapidly growing family business had just beneath the threshold of 2,000 employees in Germany and was able to freeze supervisory board codetermination to one-third, at the last minute. A SE participation agreement was signed at their headquarters in Dortmund on 21 March 2016...

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    British packaging manufacturer concludes health agreement

    On 10 July 2018 in London, the European works council and central management of DS Smith signed a protocol on the reduction of heat stress and discomfort, which is quite common in the packaging industry. In the future, a risk-assessment procedure will be carried out in all European sites with the help of experts and all employees concerned are to be informed and trained...

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    Social safeguards for steel industry acquisition

    Following the acquisition of the Ilva Group by ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg based steel group, a framework agreement on its social consequences was concluded on 6 September 2018 in Rome. The Italian government and three trade unions were also parties to the agreement. Europe's fourth largest steel producer was placed under state control in 2012 because of environmental scandals...

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    German fashion chain strengthens international responsibility

    The central management of Esprit and industriALL, the global federation of industrial trade unions signed an international framework agreement on 13 April 2018. It covers more than 525,000 workers in over 1,100 supply companies who manufacture clothes, shoes and home accessories. Esprit hereby guarantees them minimum social standards, freedom to join a union and fair collective bargaining. It also includes a training program for workers and plant managers in the production countries...

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    Russian petroleum group renews framework agreement

    The global framework agreement first concluded in 2004 between Lukoil and industriALL, the global federation of industrial trade unions was renewed on 4 June 2018 in Moscow. It includes a right to trade union freedom, industrial safety, environmental protection and the UN Convention on Human Rights for 110,000 employees in more than 50 countries around the globe. There are currently new oil production projects planned in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Romania and Iraq. Lukoil represents 2% of the world's total oil production...

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    Day of action at world's largest hotel group

    On 27 June 2018, employees of the US-company Marriott took part in a day of action in several countries in Southeast Asia, South Africa as well as France, Sweden and Austria, for the launch of an international trade union campaign. The demand from central management is for a global framework agreement against sexual harassment, from which many employees in the hotel industry suffer...

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    Food couriers want employee status

    There are currently legal proceedings underway in several countries, by means of which bicycle couriers aim to clarify their employment status. On 28 June 2018, in London there was an out-of-court settlement for a dispute between Deliveroo and 50 riders, who were claiming for the legal minimum wage and paid vacation. Deliveroo had previously refused to accept these, on the grounds that they were self-employed and not employees...

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    Deutsche Telekom subsidiary faced with radical job cuts

    On 1 August 2018, the labour courts in Bonn rejected an interim injunction order against the central management of Deutsche Telekom. The European works council of Germany's largest telecommunications company considers that its information and consultation rights have been violated with respect to massive job cuts planned at T-Systems and in the meantime has filed legal proceedings with the Higher Labour Court in Cologne...

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    No plans to revise EWC Directive

    The European Commission was due to publish a report on the implementation of the 2009 recast EWC Directive, by 5 June 2016 at the latest - in exact accordance with the requirements of article 15 of this Directive. The report was finally published on 14 May 2018, almost two years late. It is based on an empirical evaluation, in which the EWC Academy had also participated...

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    French dairy company avoids legal proceedings

    On 14 June 2018 at the Lactalis headquarters in Laval (Loire region), an out-of-court settlement was reached between the central management and the trade unions who had started legal action on 30 January 2018. The company, which does business around the globe with 32,000 employees in Europe (half of them in France), had persistently ignored the request for the establishment of a European works council...

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    Italian paper manufacturer waiting for court decision

    Sofidel, a family business from Porcari in Tuscany and one of the world's largest hygiene paper manufacturers with 5,000 employees in eleven EU Member states, has persistently been refusing to establish a EWC for years. When the request to establish the EWC arrived in 2014, central management did not undertake anything to constitute the Special Negotiating Body (SNB)...

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    What is a European works council?

    In a video lasting three and a half minutes, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Brussels describes principal characteristics and the role of a European works council. The video is only available in English, but is nevertheless subtitled in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish. The language can be chosen using the "settings" button...

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    Brief reports on individual European countries

    The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) publishes its on-line bulletin "Workers' Voice, national updates" four times a year. It examines current topics at the EU level as well as union activities and innovative examples of collective bargaining in individual countries...

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    Monthly reports on European labour law

    The European Union established a centre of expertise on labour law, employment and job-market legislative initiatives in 2016. Every month it publishes a flash report on developments relating to labour law in all countries within the European single market...

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    Information on Corporate Social Responsibility from Ministry of Labour

    The German Federal Government is campaigning for sustainable corporate governance on a new website and highlights various aspects of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). As part of an action plan adopted in December 2016, it had clearly set out its expectations that companies should exercise due diligence and respect for human rights throughout their supply and value chains. In Germany there are only such non-binding promotional incentives on the matter, whereas in France companies have been obliged by law...

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    German labour court pushes responsibility onto Ireland

    On 13 June 2018, the labour court in Wiesbaden rejected an application for an injunction order from the European works council of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) for the convening of a EWC meeting. The labour court ruled that it was not competent for the case, although the US group´s EWC agreement, which was first concluded in 2000, lies under German jurisdiction and the Wiesbaden subsidiary was chosen as the headquarters for central management...

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    Diesel scandal, electric drive, autonomous driving and the future of mobility

    In March 2018, the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation published a 100-page comprehensive analysis of one of the core sectors of the German economy: "The car in digital capitalism". The book focuses on the forthcoming massive upheaval in the car manufacturing industry, in its suppliers, and in the entire transport electronics, triggered by the gradual farewell to the combustion engine, to the private car and the human driver...

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    Social dialogue: the "blind spot" of corporate social responsibility

    In June 2018, a study was published which evaluates the importance that is given to promoting labour relations in over 2,400 globally active companies. European companies are clearly better positioned than those in Southeast Asia or in developing countries, while companies in North America lie at the lower end of the ratings. Many French groups are in the TOP 50 ranking, and the Italian energy group Enel is number one. Only two German companies are in the TOP 50: BASF and ThyssenKrupp...

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    The hour of truth in Salzburg

    The EU heads of state and government came together on 20 September 2018 in Salzburg. This was the last chance for the Prime Minister Theresa May to achieve a break-through at the highest level in the Brexit negotiations which have long been in deadlock. In the future she would like to participate in the European single market for goods, but not for services or people...

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    New framework agreement in Italy

    On 9 March 2018, only a few days after parliamentary elections, the three main Italian trade union confederations CGIL, CISL and UIL together with the Confederation of Italian Industry, Confindustria, signed a "Patto della Fabbrica", a framework agreement on industrial relations and collective bargaining. While in Germany or France these subjects are regulated by the legislator, Italy has a long tradition of voluntary agreements concluded between the social partners...

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    New Spanish government seeking to reform Labour Code

    On 1 June 2018, and for the first time in Spanish parliamentarism, Mariano Rajoy's conservative minority government collapsed following a corruption scandal and a vote of no-confidence. The socialist party, PSOE, which is now in government has likewise no majority and lost a vote on its budget proposals, on 27 July 2018. There is consequently an increased likelihood of snap parliamentary elections...

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    One year of "Macronomics": the French are being whiplashed

    The French president Emmanuel Macron is carrying out his reforms at a tremendous pace, shaking the very foundations of the French system. In June 2018, the International Monetary Fund awarded France with the title of "reform champion". Unemployment has dropped from 10.5% in 2016 to currently 9.2%. It is however debatable whether this can be attributed to the global economic situation or to Macron's reforms...

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    Historical collective agreement for Danish on-line platform

    On 10 April 2018, the management of Hilfr signed a collective agreement with the 3F union in Copenhagen. It came into force on 1 August 2018 and is the first collective agreement of its kind in the whole world. Hilfr provides cleaning services for private households and Fagligt Fælles Forbund (3F) is the industrial trade union responsible for private services, hotels and restaurants...

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    Key technologies as a goal of Chinese acquisitions

    In May 2018, the Bertelsmann Foundation published an analysis of 175 Chinese investments in companies in Germany from 2014 to 2017. Two thirds of these investments are within ten key industries, in which China is striving to become the worldwide technology leader before 2025. They include alternative propulsion technologies for cars, biomedicine and robotics. In these industries German companies have a clear technological competitive advantage and are attractive for investors...

     

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    Study on the situation of trade unions in Hungary

    In June 2018, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation published a comprehensive analysis of the political situation and the splintered trade union landscape in Hungary. Membership levels of the four competing confederations continue to fall and in the meantime amount to a total of only 8%. Nowadays, a mere one third of all employees in Hungary are covered by a collective agreement, mostly on the company level...

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    Principles of corporate governance in the United Kingdom

    On 14 May 2018, the Corporate Governance Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) met to discuss the new Corporate Governance Code. Dr Werner Altmeyer of the EWC Academy was invited as guest speaker to a dinner meeting in the Chartered Accountants Hall, which is the historical seat of the institute founded in 1850 in London´s city center...

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    EWC training for US company based in Ireland

    The annual plenary EWC meeting for Ingersoll Rand was held on 4 and 5 June 2018, in Brussels. The conglomerate has 45,000 employees worldwide and is one of the oldest companies in the USA. It manufactures air conditioning systems and machinery, amongst others for the automobile industry. In 2009, the company´s legal headquarters were relocated to Ireland, and as a result the EWC agreement from 2013, falls under Irish jurisdiction. The European works council had already been established back in 1997...

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    Training for Airbus Division works council
    The Airbus Defence & Space Division SE works council met in Taufkirchen (near Munich) on 11 and 12 July 2018 for training. As previously in February 2016, EWC Academy was commissioned for the training. The delegates came from production sites of the company's Defence & Space Division in seven countries. The SE agreement provides for three Divisional works councils and one combined Holding works council...

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    Annual EWC basics seminar in Montabaur Castle

    From 28 to 31 August 2018, employee representatives from eleven companies, including six with headquarters in the USA, examined ways of improving the functioning of their European works councils. The seminar agenda included labour relations in the largest EU Member States, the process of a consultation procedure and a set of practical case studies. This introductory seminar organized every year since 2009 will be held again from 23 to 26 April 2019...

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    Preparation for SE negotiations

    The two central works councils of the German construction group, Köster, held a meeting from 10 to 12 September 2018 in Osnabrück with support from the EWC Academy to prepare themselves for forthcoming SE negotiations. The family business has reached the threshold of 2,000 employees in Germany and wishes to avoid any employee participation in the Holding's supervisory board by means of its planned conversion into a European Company...

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    EWC workshop for Switzerland's largest insurance company

    The steering committee of Zurich Insurance Group's European Forum met from 26 to 28 September 2018 at the company headquarters in the Swiss financial metropolis. Representatives from eight countries with the largest workforce meet each quarter to discuss current developments with central management. After several changes in personnel, half of the steering committee have only recently taken office...

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