Trade union alliances are a means by which European works councils can be strengthened and trade union objectives advanced within multinational companies (MNCs).
As part of a recent research project (VS/2014/0359), financed by the European Commission, no fewer than twenty trade union alliance meetings took place multinationals in all the sectors represented by UNI Europa.
Most of the meetings were primarily information sharing sessions. The challenge is to ensure that information sharing develops into policy making and/or negotiation. Leadership within the trade union alliance is essential to make this transformation.
Delegates identified a wide range of objectives as appropriate for trade union alliances. Most of these objectives were ‘external facing’ and required the trade union alliance to be proactive. Among the objectives identified by delegates were
- develop and implement a trade union policy appropriate for the MNC
- improve trade union organisation in the MNC
- strengthen collective bargaining with a view to improve terms and conditions of employment within the MNC
- increase trade union membership in the MNC
- improve articulation between the different industrial relations institutions within the MNC