Today, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) together with ETUC and other European Trade Union Federations presented a petition of more than 2,665 worker representatives and trade union leaders to members of the European Parliament.
The petition calls on the Commission to “start infringement proceedings where necessary” and on European governments “to put forward concrete actions to ensure that workers’ information and consultation rights at work are respected”. It also urges the European institutions to strengthen the European legal framework on democracy at work (in particular of the European Works Councils) and to implement the EU social partners’ agreement on information and consultation rights on restructuring for workers and civil servants in central government administrations by a Directive.
EFBWW general secretary Tom Deleu states that the “rights of workers and trade union representatives in EWCs are still too often disregarded by the managements of multinational companies”.
That is why, the EFBWW demands a revision of the EWC Directive. The EFBWW has identified five key priorities to be taken up in the next revision of the Directive.
We call for a stronger role of trade unions in EWCs. The directive should give trade union experts a formal right to participate in all meetings of the EWC. No negotiations shall start without properly informing the relevant sectoral trade union federation. The sectoral trade union federations shall have the possibility to appoint a representative to coordinate negotiations on behalf of the employees.
The directive should also define a new European standard for dissuasive sanctions which hurt companies if they disregard EWC rights. It must be possible for an EWC to block a decision and if a company refuses consultation, the decision should be nullified.
The EFBWW demands the end of the two-class system: all EWC agreements should be under the scope of the directive. Old agreements must be renegotiated under the scope of the directive.
The abuse of confidentiality rules must be stopped. Management must be obliged to specify what is covered by confidentiality, trade union representatives must have the right to access confidential information and to share it with other TU representatives who are bound by the same confidentiality rules.
Finally, the transnational character must be clearly defined and reflect the joint interests of the European workforce. If central management takes a decision, it is a transnational matter even if its potential effects affect one Member State only.
Read the press release here.