POLITICAL EVALUATION AND STRATEGIC VIEWS ON EMF ACTIVITIES REGARDING COMPANY POLICY
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POLITICAL EVALUATION AND STRATEGIC VIEWS ON EMF ACTIVITIES REGARDING COMPANY POLICY Luc TRIANGLE, CCMB (B) EMF Company Policy Committee. 1. The EMF and European Works Councils : a milestone in the development of a European Social Model 2. The EMF Co-ordinators

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POLITICAL EVALUATION AND STRATEGIC VIEWS ON EMF ACTIVITIES REGARDING COMPANY POLICY

Luc TRIANGLE, CCMB (B)

EMF Company Policy Committee

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils : a milestone in the development of a European Social Model

2. The EMF Co-ordinators

3. EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement : from consultation to negotiation

4. Participation as a workers’ right

5. EMF Company Policy 2007 - 2011

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils development of a European Social Model

1.1. Began in 1994 and before

  • First experiences in 80s

  • Breakthrough in 1994

  • Set up of EMF EWC Task Force

  • Political co-ordination from the start : EWC is a European topic

  • Importance of the ‘article 13 period’ : 155 EMF agreements by 22.09.96 (now : 330)

  • Pro-active EMF approach

  • EMF was the only European platform for companies

    to negotiate an EWC agreement (until 09/1996)

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils development of a European Social Model

1.2. EMF Binding Guidelines for EWC procedure and content (1996 - 2001)

  • One common European agenda

  • Binding character

  • Minimum quality standard

  • By far the majority of our 330 EWC agreements meet the EMF Guidelines

  • Clarify the procedure (exchange of information) as well as the content

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils development of a European Social Model

1.2. EMF Binding Guidelines for EWC procedure and content (1996 - 2001) – content

  • At least one meeting per year

  • Full day pre-meeting

  • Right to elect a select committee with facilities and clear role

  • Right to meet in case of exceptional circumstances

  • Written report

  • Simultaneous interpretation

  • Expert of their choice at all meetings

  • Not all information is confidential

  • All necessary costs are covered by management

  • Communication rights, also facilities at national level

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils development of a European Social Model

1.2. EMF Binding Guidelines for EWC procedure and content (1996 - 2001) – recommendations

  • Inclusion of members from accession countries + CH

  • Improved definition of consultation

  • Right for training for the EWC

  • Secretarial and translation support

  • Participation of woman representatives

  • Extension of the list of EWC Competences

  • Agreement lifespan of 4 years

  • Right for a debriefing meeting

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils development of a European Social Model

1.3. Evaluation : did we succeed so far ?

  • 330 EWC agreements (280 existing) is a good result, but we still have to go for more

  • 60 ongoing negotiations : negotiations take longer (smaller companies, full use of three year negotiation period)

  • EMF Guidelines have been crucial in our strategy for European common policy

  • However : in some cases, the EMF Minimum standards became the maximum possible target (Companies started to know our ‘agenda’)

  • Most of the EMF agreements meet the Guidelines

  • Importance of EMF expert during the EWC negotiations

  • EMF Task Force (until 2003) : driving force to give the necessary and frequent follow – up

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


1. The EMF and European Works Councils development of a European Social Model

1.3. Evaluation : have we succeeded so far ?

  • Integration of UK (before 1999) and afterwards accession countries has been good

  • EMF tools : training handbook (1998), database (2002), handbook on how to deal with restructuring (2006)

  • No success so far on Revision of EWC Directive : lack of political interest and lack of continuity in trade union pressure (and priority ?)

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


2. The EMF Co-ordinators : a trade union bridge towards our 300 main companies

  • From focus only on negotiation (1994 – 2000) to focus also on existing EWCs (2000 onwards)

  • Launch of EMF Co-ordinators network : October 2000

    Objective : EWCs should become real European Information and Consultation bodies, with trade union (EMF) influence, presence, support and guidance

    How : appointing an EMF Co-ordinator for every existing EWC

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


2. The EMF Co-ordinators : role 300 main companies

  • Must know what happens in their EWC

  • Support and guide for EWC members

  • Known by EWC members (presence at meetings ?)

  • First contact for other unions, trade union contact for company

  • Secure the European approach of the EWC, for example in case of restructuring

  • European mandate, not a national representative

  • Link between EWC (members) and EMF

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


2. The EMF Co-ordinators : role EMF 300 main companies

  • Support EMF Co-ordinators

  • Training

  • Continuous flow of information on EMF activities, decisions and activities

  • Update list of EMF Co-ordinators

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


2. The EMF Co-ordinators : benefits / value 300 main companies

  • One (EMF) approach towards existing EWCs

  • Link between Trade Union and Employee representation in EWC

  • Important for sectoral activities, but also for EMF policies in other fields (collective bargaining, industrial policy)

    ➤ EMF / Trade Union ambassador in the 280 existing EWCs

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


2. The EMF Co-ordinators : 300 main companies lessons for future

  • Convincing EWCs that the EMF Co-ordinator should be involved

  • EMF Co-ordinator is European mandate, not a extension of national mandate

  • Not all EWCs have a EMF Co-ordinator as yet

  • Guaranteeing that the EMF Co-ordinator has the necessary time available to execute their tasks (co-operation needed from national trade unions)

    ➤ Updating network / training co-ordinators / moving forward with the EMF activities in this field will be the main features for the EMF from 2007 onwards

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


3. From information / consultation to negotiation : 300 main companies

EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement

3.1. From consultation to negotiation

  • Current definition of consultation in EWC Directive

  • Prior consultation = negotiation

  • EWC right to deliver a ‘second opinion’

  • Trade union challenges linked with prior consultation

  • EWC experiences

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


3. From information / consultation to negotiation : 300 main companies

EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement

3.2. EWC / Trade Union negotiation at company level

  • EWC as a platform for European agreements

  • Topics : gender equality, vocational training, how to deal with transnational restructuring, disabled workers

  • EMF policy : Trade unions (EMF) should take the leading role in this

  • Important role for EMF Co-ordinator

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


3. From information / consultation to negotiation : 300 main companies

EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement

3.3. Internal EMF Mandate Procedure for negotiations at European company level

  • Procedure to give the EMF a mandate to negotiate at European company level

  • Mandate to initiate negotiations and to conclude agreements

  • Example : AREVA

  • EU Commission initiative to create a legal framework for negotiations / agreements at European Company level

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


3. From information / consultation to negotiation : 300 main companies

EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement

3.4. EMF activities on company restructuring

  • Co-ordination of trade union response

  • Numerous cases of trade union meetings and co-ordination

  • Growing challenge

  • Role for EMF Co-ordinator

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


3. From information / consultation to negotiation : 300 main companies

EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement

3.5. The 10 EMF principles for transnational restructuring

  • Corporate restructuring is a permanent feature

  • Reality of social dumping and downward spiral on salaries / working conditions

  • Transnational restructuring needs a European Trade Union / EWC response

    ➤ Will be one of the main EMF Challenges in the next period : creating solidarity in cases of restructuring

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


3. From information / consultation to negotiation : 300 main companies

EWCs as a step towards real workers’ involvement

3.5. The 10 EMF principles for transnational restructuring

Principles : e.g.

  • Set up of European Trade Union Co-ordination group

  • Develop a common European platform

  • Envisage to negotiate common and acceptable solutions and to conclude a European Framework agreement

  • Envisage cross - border actions

  • A binding European strategy for all

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


4. Participation at board level 300 main companies

  • EMF : participation at board level creates additional chances for workers’ representatives to influence company decisions

  • EMF Congresses 1999 and 2003

  • Participation at national level under pressure = pressure on European Social Model

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


4. Participation at Board level 300 main companies

4.1.Participation ‘avant-la-lettre’ : Arcelor

  • Three Board representatives

  • Before transposition of SE Directive

  • Challenge : creating a link between EWC, Trade Unions, EMF Co-ordinator and Board representatives

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


4. Participation at Board level 300 main companies

4.2. The European Company (SE) and the EMF Guidelines

  • EMF Guidelines on SE (2003) : important choices on participation, trade union presence

  • EMF SE Guidelines = common European platform on participation and SE

  • Important political exercise

  • SE since 2004 : only three in metal industry (Elcoteq, MAN B&W Diesel, Plannsee)

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011 300 main companies

5.1. European Works Councils as an engine for European Information and Consultation rights

5.1.1. Setting up of new EWCs

  • Focus on target companies without EWCs

  • Renegotiation of existing EWC agreements to improve quality

  • New EU member states

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011 300 main companies

5.1. European Works Councils as an engine for European Information and Consultation rights

5.1.2. Operation existing EWCs

  • EMF Co-ordinator as a support for EWC

  • EWC common demands

  • Training and Activities towards EMF Co-ordinator and EWC Chairs.

  • Role of economic expertise

  • Exchange of best practice

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011 300 main companies

5.2. Restructuring and change at European Company level

  • Building up good practice on EMF Principles on how to deal with Company restructuring

  • Regular critical evaluation on joint European Policy

  • Promotion of European framework agreements

  • European Trade Union Co-ordination meetings

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011 300 main companies

5.3. Developing negotiation results at European Company level

  • More social dialogue with European companies

  • Towards transnational negotiations at European company level : EFAs, …

  • Corporate Social Responsibility : EWCs as a platform to launch International Framework Agreements

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011 300 main companies

5.4. Participation as a key to a higher level of workers’ involvement

5.5.Trade Union organisation at company level

5.6. European legislation

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


6. CONCLUSIONS 300 main companies

  • Company policy is one of the main topics for the European Trade Union movement

  • EWCs are key players in this policy

  • Need for higher common approaches in cases of transnational restructuring

  • From Consultation to Negotiation : new challenge

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


6. CONCLUSIONS 300 main companies

  • Company policy is one of the main topics for European Trade Union movement

  • EWCs are key players in this policy

  • Need for higher common approaches in cases of transnational restructuring

  • From Consultation to Negotiation : new challenge

     Thanks to our 6000 EWC members in the EMF, our 280 EWC Chairs and EMF Co-ordinators !

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


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