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

Brexit looking more and more unlikely

No changes for European works councils until 2021 → more

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

From 28 to 31 August 2018, Montabaur Castle, close to Frankfurt International Airport: → see leaflet

In-house Seminars

Training for the whole EWC or the select committee → 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 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 273 companies which represents around 21 % of all currently existing transnational works councils in Europe.




Up-to-date News
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    Constitutional meeting of the "default" EWC

    The newly elected European works council of Mayr-Melnhof Packaging met on 17 and 18 April 2018 for its first plenary meeting in Vienna. In the Park Hotel Schönbrunn, directly beside the baroque summer residence of the former Austrian imperial family, the representatives elected five members as the steering committee (previously only three). The new legal basis for their future work was analyzed with support from the EWC Academy and the flow of a consultation procedure elaborated...

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    Several SE works councils concerned

    On 11 March 2018, the two energy companies E.ON and RWE announced a restructuring of their activities. E.ON plans to focus itself on the electricity distribution grid and RWE on power generation. To this end, RWE is to sell its subsidiary innogy with 42,000 employees to E.ON and will acquire all renewable energies in return. RWE would then be the third largest green-energy producer in Europe. The transaction should be finalized by 2020...

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    Former EWC chairman becomes group CEO

    The electrical engineer Uwe Tigges was appointed the new CEO of innogy at the annual shareholders meeting held on 24 April 2018. He had already temporarily taken this office on 19 December 2017. During the period from 2004 to 2012 he was the chairman of RWE´s European works council and had concluded a milestone agreement on socially responsible restructuring...

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    Co-determined supervisory board in parallel with SE administrative board

    The Ottobock Company has been operating under the SE & Co. KGaA legal form since 3 April 2018. This family-owned business from Duderstadt in southern Lower Saxony was founded in 1919 to supply war victims with prostheses. Today, Ottobock is the world´s market leader in orthopedic technology with 7,600 employees worldwide and also does business in plastics processing and IT and communication technology...

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    Online delivery service on the road to full-parity codetermination

    An SE agreement was signed for Delivery Hero on 16 April 2018 in Berlin. The company operates an online food delivery service for market brands such as Lieferheld, pizza.de und Foodora, in 40 countries around the globe with over 12,000 employees, including 1,000 at the head office in Berlin. Delivery Hero was founded in 2011 and is today one of the largest European Internet companies...

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    French IT group converts German subsidiary into SE

    An SE agreement for Sopra Steria was signed on 1 March 2018 in Hamburg. This IT consulting firm has 2,200 employees in Germany and Austria and belongs to the Sopra Steria Group since 2005, which has its headquarters in Annecy in the French Alps and 42,000 employees in 20 countries around the globe. The SE conversion of this rapidly growing company excludes the establishment of a full-parity supervisory board in Germany...

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    German mechanical engineering group with EWC experience

    A EWC agreement for the Kelvion Holding was signed at their headquarters in Bochum on 20 December 2017. The group manufactures industrial heat exchangers and until 2014, belonged to the mechanical engineering group GEA, who sold it to a financial investor based on the low-tax Island of Jersey. Since then, the works council has been confronted with relocations and job cuts...

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    Japanese automobile supplier surpasses German EWC standards

    A EWC agreement for Yazaki was signed on 18 January 2018 in Bonn. The group manufactures wiring and electrical components and has its European headquarters in Cologne. The 20 representatives in the new EWC represent 25,000 employees in 15 countries with the largest sites situated in Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia...

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    Manufacturer of Dental products uses German EWC law

    A European works council has been established for the world largest manufacturer of dental equipment. The EWC agreement was signed in Hanau on 23 February 2018. The group was founded in 2016 following the merger of the US Company, Dentsply and the Sirona group from Austria, the former Dental division of Siemens. As a result of the merger there had been layoffs and job relocations particularly in Germany...

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    Recognition of works council activity as a professional qualification

    Central management of the Belgian chemicals group, Solvay and their European works council concluded a charter on 28 February 2018 which acknowledges the skills of company employee representatives. It is the first pan-European agreement of its kind. It has nothing to do with protection against discrimination but expressly with the recognition of skills acquired during the term of office as representative...

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    US dairy group commits to diversity and equal treatment policy

    A European declaration for the promotion of equal treatment was signed in a meeting of Schreiber Foods´ European works council in Alcobendas (near Madrid) on 5 April 2018. Schreiber Foods has been present in Europe since 2013 following the acquisition of French food manufacturing plants. The agreement applies to Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Czechia, Slovakia and Bulgaria...

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    Australian logistics firm reinforces social standards

    A Global Charter was concluded between the International Transport workers Federation (ITF) and the Toll group, the leading Australian logistics group for its 44,000 employees, on 25 April 2018 in Singapore. A special emphasis will be put on the improvement of safety standards in 1,200 subsidiaries in 50 countries around the world, as well as on the working conditions in developing countries in Southeast Asia...

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    On the road to a World works council

    The trade union network for John Deere met on 8 and 9 May 2018 for the first time at the US-company´s headquarters in Moline (Illinois). The 30 employee representatives from three continents were welcomed by central management and visited a factory in Iowa. The network for the leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery worldwide was already established in 2012 and holds one annual meeting with amongst others the presence of German works council members...

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    World´s second largest energy group reinforces social standards

    An agreement on Global Corporate Social Responsibility was signed by the central management of Électricité de France (EdF) and two international trade union confederations on 29 May 2018 in Geneva. It aims at guaranteeing the development of harmonized social standards for all of the 160,000 employees in 24 countries around the world as well as consolidating social dialogue. A World works council has already existed in Edf since 2005...

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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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    Trade union federation starts court proceedings against the European Commission

    On 15 May 2018, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) filed a case before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. 9.8 million employees in government authorities within EU Member States continue to be excluded from any rights of information and consultation in the workplace. This is also the case for transfer of undertakings and mass redundancies, e.g. in connection with privatizations...

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    Plans to safeguard employee rights

    On 25 April 2018, the European Commission published proposals for two Directives on the transnational mobility of companies, the "Company Mobility Package". It aims to facilitate cross-border transfers, mergers or divisions of companies within the single market and to enable companies to be founded and registered online. Critics fear an increase in "regime shopping" with a rush to tax havens, lower social standards and an escape from codetermination...

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    European Court of Justice allows pure letterbox companies

    The draft Directives are connected to the "Polbud ruling" of the European Court of Justice from 25 October 2017. In the opinion of the judges, every company should be free to choose the country in which it has its headquarters. The principle of free establishment in the single market also includes the transfer of a company´s (legal) seat to another EU country without the relocation of any business activity or administration...

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    Long awaited EWC court ruling - in vain

    The courts in Austria ruled for the first time on a EWC matter, on 30 April 2018. The labour and social court of first instance in Vienna rejected a claim which was filed by the European works council of Mayr-Melnhof Packaging on 1 June of 2016, for violation of its information and consultation rights. The cardboard manufacturer´s central management had only offered a video conference instead of a correct consultation procedure...

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    French central works council granted access to confidential business figures

    On 22 March 2018, the regional court in the Paris suburb Nanterre granted the claim of Gemalto´s central works council, demanding the communication of documents on its announced acquisition by the French electronics group Thales and which hitherto had been kept secret. On 17 December 2017, Thales had announced its acquisition of the Dutch smart-card manufacturer Gemalto, before autumn 2018...

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    Swiss technology group refuses pan-German works council

    The Federal Labour Court in Erfurt ruled on 23 May 2018 that the German subsidiaries of Feintool International are not allowed to establish a Group works council. This metalworking company from the Swiss canton of Berne which has 2,400 employees worldwide, is a system supplier to the automobile industry and has acquired small specialized manufacturing plants in Germany in recent years...

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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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    All green lights are still on for the economy

    IMK, the Macroeconomic Policy Institute within the Hans-Böckler Foundation, regularly analyzes and forecasts short and medium-term economic development in Germany. The current situation is represented by a set of economic traffic lights. Although the economic upturn is still stable, there are nevertheless major political risks, in particular due to the USA´s protectionist trading policies. On the other hand, rising wages in Germany help support domestic demand. Therefore the upturn is less sensitive to world´s economic uncertainties...

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    Union Information on Crowdworking

    Trade unions from Germany, Austria, Sweden and the Vienna Chamber of Labour are running a dedicated website on Fair Crowd Work. It provides a great deal of information on crowd-, platform- and app-based working from an employee perspective. In addition, there are platform profiles and evaluations collected from a survey among platform employees...

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    Government Information on pay transparency

    A new law for promoting the transparency of pay structures came into force in Germany, in July 2017. It is primarily aimed at helping women to better enforce their rights for the same pay for equal work or work of the same value. The responsible Ministry provides information on their website on the new rights to information, the implementation of company monitoring as well as on the reporting obligations for gender equality and equal pay...

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    Legal commentary on SE negotiations

    The third edition of a legal commentary on codetermination in the European Company (SE), in the European Cooperative Society (SCE) and on transnational mergers was published in April 2018. There exists a pile of comparable legal literature, but this is the only reference work which has been written from an employee perspective. Apart from a description of the legal subsidiary requirements it also includes typical worked examples from SE participation agreements...

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    European view of the digital working world

    In May 2018, the European Center for Workers´ Questions (EZA), a network of Christian-social workers´ organizations from 30 countries, published a report on the digitalization of the working world. It presents the most important developments (Big Data, Sharing Economy, Crowdworking), describes the current state of research on the possible effects on employment and provides recommendations for employee organizations´ policy-making...

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    Facts and figures from the working world

    An Atlas of work was published for the first time in May 2018. It was edited by the Hans-Böckler Foundation and the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) in German and English. It presents the differences in income, wage bargaining policies and the trade union landscape throughout Germany, as well as examining the development of unemployment (in all German Federal Länder), the flexible employment relationships and the digitalization of the German economy...

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    Pushing for stronger global social dialogue

    The "Global Deal" Initiative for decent work and inclusive growth published their first flagship report in May 2018. The initiative was started in 2016 by the Swedish government to promote the idea of social dialogue around the globe. This includes the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Besides the OECD and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in the meantime many states, trade unions, companies and non-government organizations have also joined the initiative...

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    Brexit Check from an employee perspective

    The British trade union, Unite is closely following the debate on the different options and plans for the Brexit on a new website. It presents an analysis of the possible effects on employment, labour law and living standards from an employee perspective. This includes e.g. the announcement of Airbus from 22 June 2018, that it would completely withdraw from the United Kingdom due to the Brexit and transfer 14,000 jobs...

     

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    Searching for EWC candidates in Hungary

    The chairman of Dana´s European works council visited the plant in Győr for the first time, on 24 and 25 April 2018. He held discussions with the managing director and HR manager of the Hungarian subsidiary with support from the EWC Academy. The US automobile supplier has four sites in Hungary with nearly 1,000 employees, but so far there is neither a works council nor any EWC representative...

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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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    Cooperation and social partnership in Japanese company

    The European works council of Seiko Epson met on 14 and 15 June 2018 in their European center in Amsterdam and were assisted by the EWC Academy. This manufacturer of computer products has predominantly sales-offices in Europe and the EWC, which was established in 1997, is therefore still relatively small in terms of number of members. For the time being a whole series of countries still have no seat...

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    Parliament has no say on change of works council system

    In a live television transmission on 22 September 2017, French president Emmanuel Macron signed the decree reforming labour legislation, which is one of the key points of his election manifesto. This includes the introduction of German style works councils. The details were defined in an implementation decree on 29 December 2017.

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    Bargaining policy in the Slovakian automobile industry

    Trade unions of Slovakia's three largest car manufacturers signed a memorandum on improving cooperation in collective bargaining at a meeting held on 25 January 2018, at the headquarters of Kia Motors in Žilina in the north of the country. This could represent a first step in a coordinated increase of wages, since up to now each site still continues to negotiate separately...

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    High turnover slows down investments in Hungary

    On 22 February 2018, Continental announced the construction of a new factory for automotive electronics in Debrecen in the east of Hungary. A short time before, the German technology group had also decided to establish a development center in Budapest. This however stands in contrast to the decision not to extend an assembly line for brake systems in Veszprém in the west of Hungary, despite the offer of national subsidies but rather to relocate it back to Mechelen, north of Brussels...

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    High turnover slows down investments in Hungary

    On 22 February 2018, Continental announced the construction of a new factory for automotive electronics in Debrecen in the east of Hungary. A short time before, the German technology group had also decided to establish a development center in Budapest. This however stands in contrast to the decision not to extend an assembly line for brake systems in Veszprém in the west of Hungary, despite the offer of national subsidies but rather to relocate it back to Mechelen, north of Brussels...

 

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