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European Works' Councils
In transport, an estimated number of 80 companies qualify for the establishment of a EWC. However the number of concluded agreements is still limited to about 20. The strong resistance of some major companies and the specific conditions of the industry, such as for instance a high level of territorial decentralisation, have caused considerable difficulties to initiate negotiations for the setting up of new transnational information and consultation bodies.
The agreements concluded so far mirror the broad variation of the industry and include aviation companies (Air France-KLM, Aviapartner, British Airways, Easy Jet, World Flight Service), transport and logistics (CEVA Logistics, Deutsche Post/DHL, Deutsche Bahn, Fedex, Geodis, Kuhne+ Nagel, UPS, TNT), public transport (Arriva, Keolis, Transdev, Veolia) and ports and maritime (Dubai Ports World and Hapag Lloyd).
Given the growing number of transnational operations in the transport industry, given the extreme company mobility – the industry is subject time and again to mergers, acquisitions, outsourcing, off-flagging, sub-contracting – transnational representation of transport workers is of key importance, to ensure labour participation in corporate strategies.
The ETF has therefore re-launched its activities in the EWC policy field. Our aims are:
- Create strong ties between transport trade unions and European Works’ Councils active in the industry
- Mobilise trade unions to be active at transnational level and to support the setting up and well-functioning of European Works’ Councils
- Empower EWCs to fulfil their role and function
European Works Councils are the voice of the employee in multinational companies. In some twenty major transport companies – whether in aviation, rail, road, ports or logistics - EWCs play a vital role in social dialogue. Although limited to information and consultation rights by European law, they may exercise their influence when it comes to major reorganisations at company level. EWCs have also established networks of solidarity and exchange of best practices among local trade unions and works councils across Europe.
The ETF recently carried out a project aimed to create a package of tools for the transport EWCs. All tools and advice have been grouped on a separate website, which is password protected. Passwords may be obtained at request by contacting the ETF at the firstname.lastname@example.org