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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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