A European Works Council (EWC) brings together employee representatives from the different European countries in which a multinational company has operations. During EWC meetings, these representatives are informed and consulted by central management on transnational issues of concern to the company’s employees.
EU Directive 94/45/EC – governing the establishment of such EWCs – is applicable to transnational undertakings and groups of undertakings employing in total more than 1000 employees in the European Economic Area, and at least 150 of them in two member states.
The EWC Directive has evolved to become an important gauge of compliance with the European standards and practices shaping the European social model. After 10 years of attempts to amend the EWC directive, on 6 May 2009 a recast EWC directive was adopted (2009/38/EC).
In 2018 there are 1150 active European Works’ Councils in place. In total some 1529 have been created. On average 25 new EWC’s are established per year, but recent growth is rapid.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) launched a clear call for more EWC’s in view of their crucial role in negotiating smooth transitions in multinational companies in Europe.
At the moment there are about 37 EWC’s established in multinational transport and logistics companies, which currently makes the ETF a fairly minor user of EWCs compared to other sectors:
Of these 37 EWCs in transport 27 are active and fulfilling their role as information and consultation bodies.
Should you want more precise information on EWCs and how they functioning, please visit the ETUI website. Here you can access the EWC database where you can find all company related information.