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

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Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

POLITICAL EVALUATION AND STRATEGIC VIEWS ON EMF ACTIVITIES REGARDING COMPANY POLICY

Luc TRIANGLE, CCMB (B)

EMF Company Policy Committee

EMF - Brussels, 22 November 2006


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

1. The EMF and European Works Councils

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

1. The EMF and European Works Councils

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

1. The EMF and European Works Councils

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

1. The EMF and European Works Councils

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

1. The EMF and European Works Councils

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

1. The EMF and European Works Councils

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

2. The EMF Co-ordinators : role

  • 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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

2. The EMF Co-ordinators : role EMF

  • 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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

2. The EMF Co-ordinators : benefits / value

  • 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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

2. The EMF Co-ordinators : 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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

3. From information / consultation to negotiation :

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

3. From information / consultation to negotiation :

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

3. From information / consultation to negotiation :

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

3. From information / consultation to negotiation :

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

3. From information / consultation to negotiation :

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

3. From information / consultation to negotiation :

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

4. Participation at board level

  • 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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

4. Participation at Board level

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

4. Participation at Board level

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

5. EMF Company Policy 2007 – 2011

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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

6. CONCLUSIONS

  • 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


Political evaluation and strategic views on emf activities regarding company policy

6. CONCLUSIONS

  • 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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