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ETUI-industriAll Summer College. European Works Councils and Transnational Company Agreements ETUI-industriAll Collective Bargaining & Company Policy Summer College Sesimbra / Portugal, 11 September 2013 Dr. Torsten Müller European Trade Union Institute - ETUI. Presentation based on.

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Etui industriall summer college

ETUI-industriAll Summer College

European Works Councils and Transnational Company Agreements

ETUI-industriAll Collective Bargaining & Company Policy Summer College

Sesimbra / Portugal, 11 September 2013

Dr. Torsten Müller

European Trade Union Institute - ETUI


Etui industriall summer college

Presentation based on...

...quantitative analysis of transnational company agreements in the metalworking industry;

  • Objective: more comprehensive overview of developments in the metalworking sector going beyond qualitative analysis of well-known cases

  • Method: telephone interviews with representatives of 82 EWCs (if possible with chair / deputy chair of EWC)

  • German companies slightly overrepresented due to sampling method

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Key findings

  • Publically accessible documentation of existing agreements is incomplete, but the number of unreported agreements is insufficient to cast doubt on the validity of the available data.

  • Importance of informal arrangements involving EWCs which lack the status of formally negotiated agreements (oral agreement, minutes of EWC meeting)

  • Key conclusions: (1) In practice, EWCs go beyond their formal information and consultation role more frequently than is realised by academics and policymakers; (2) regulation of IR and working conditions at European company level is promoted by more companies than was hitherto believed to be the case.

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Quantitative Development of TCAs

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ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Transnational Agreements in Metalworking Industries

15 IFAS only

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Frequency of informal arrangements

Informal arrangements are an overlooked phenomenon: no empirical data so far.

In our sample of 82 EWCs we found 21 companies with informal arrangements: 26%

Overall spread of informal arrangements: 12-15% of all EWCs in the metalworking sector

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Subjects of formal agreements and informal arrangements

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Country of origin: formal agreements

Pronounced country-of-origin effect:

  • Formal agreements were predominantly concluded in companies whose global head office and European HQ is located in Germany and France.

  • Further countries: US, Netherlands and Switzerland

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Location of head office: informal arrangements

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ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Size of companies

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ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

(Co-)negotiators of formal agreements and informal arrangements

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ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Reason for formal agreements and informal arrangements arrangements

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ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Reasons for informal arrangements arrangements

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ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Why informal arrangements rather than formal agreements arrangements

1.) Refusal of management to formalise more

  • Most frequent obstacle

  • Opposition from company‘s non-European HQ

  • Fear of setting precedent for other companies

  • Cultural reasons: FR or UK, WC negotiations not seen as appropriate

    2.) Little interest w/in EWC to formalise more (only 20%)

  • Subjects don‘t require further formalisation

  • EWC lacks experience and capacity to negotiate

  • Fear of jeopardising trust relationship with management

  • One country blocked formal negotiations

    3.) Tradition of informal IR arrangements at company

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

Issues for discussion arrangements

  • What does this mean for relationship between EWCs and trade union?

  • What does this mean for application of industriAll’s procedure to deal with negotiations at European company level?

  • What does this mean with respect to the European Commission’s initiative to establish an optional framework for company-level negotiations

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


Etui industriall summer college

European Works Councils and TCAs arrangements

Thank you very much for your attention!!!

Dr. Torsten Müller

European Trade Union Institute

Bld. du Roi Albert II, 5

1210 Brussels

Email: tmueller@etui.org

ETUI-industriAll CB & CP Summer College, Sesimbra 10-12 September 2013


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