European Works Councils (EWCs) are employee representation bodies within transnational companies. They are foreseen by EU law for the purpose of information and consultation on transnational issues.
They regularly bringing together employee representatives of all over Europe together. These councils are an important instrument for transnational trade unionism as they enable trade unionist from different countries to meet and exchange.
UNI Europa recognises this importance as it stated in the 2021 UNI Europa conference: “European Works Councils (EWCs) are vital to achieving democracy at work – at local, national and transnational level. UNI Europa recognises their significance and dedicates itself to building trade union power within and through EWCs.”
UNI Europa objectives
- Develop EWCs as tool for trade union action
- Enhance transnational trade union coordination to anticipate change and restructuring inn MNCs
- Define strategies to strengthen trade union presence and support in multinationals and European work councils
- Establish of strong, stable and sustainable trade union alliances among affiliates with the view to improve the working conditions, ensure a successful consultation process for employees and a factual influence on the decision making process of company’s managements.
- Reinforce the role of EWC coordinators
- Provide tools, training and concrete solutions to the problems faced by EWCs members and coordinators
Are you an EWC member or coordinator? You can get in touch with the UNI Europa staff person from your sector to find out more. Check out our resource page here where you can find lots of background information as well as video trainings.
The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has severe consequences for European Works Councils. Together with the other European Trade Union Federations (ETUFs), UNI Europa keeps a close eye on the legal and practical developments.
For this, common guidelines for EWCs are developed guidelines.