Electricty network in Europe
21 February 2011

Electricity network in Europe

Reinforcement of the structure of EWCs in the electric energy sector by studying the institutions of voluntary dialogue established by employers and employees, focusing on the practice of RWE, E.ON and EDF.


Duration of the project:

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Description of the project and of the expected results

In the electric energy sector, RWE, E.ON, EDF and other multinational enterprises have established their group-level, holding-level forums, while the trade unions in the enterprises have set up forums for dialogue among workers councils at Member State level. By studying this practice, the project tries to gather the information and participation schemes entailing the changes of corporate decision levels with the participation of German, French, Rumanian, Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian organizations, involving the EPSU and further workers councils and trade unions in the electricity sector.

The project partners hold 3 workgroup sessions on directives concerning the EWCs and EU level social dialogue; on cooperation between trade unions and EWCs; on networks assigning national level EWC coordinators in order to disclose the structure, communication and relations of the EWCs, and hire experts for studying the internal dialogue structures of enterprises.

As main event, the partners hold conference to sum up the conclusions drawn by the workgroups, and draw up recommendations for other EWCs and trade unions.

During the project, a website ensures the cooperation of the partners and a short educational movie has to be shot on the work of the EWC and the potentials of further developing their functionality. Besides, the partners nominate European workers council coordinators who shall provide information flow during the project and in the future in order to make the good examples and the voluntary dialogue forums known and to disseminate them.

The main target group is the EWC representatives of these multinational companies on the main events (approximately 28 persons), however in broader sense the EWC members in the analyzed companies, and other EWC contacting Trade Unions. (up to 100 persons)

Other target group is the leadership of Trade Unions involved in the project who are work with European Workers Councils or responsible for their functioning. (up to 100 persons)

The assumed aim of the project is to map the system of relations, the structure, the information flow and the good practices of the enterprises surveyed, and to prepare 3 studies on them. In close contact of this the experts and the participants of the project events elaborate the issues to be regulated in the EWCs’ agreements.

The other outcome is 3 recommendations. The first on the further possible development of the EWCs for European decision makers and for the European Confederation of Trade Unions negotiating with European decision makers. Another recommendation is for EWCs working in other sectors on the structures created within the enterprises investigated in the energy sector in order to facilitate them the application of good practices. With help of the project but financing from own resources the partners intend to set up EWC coordinators managed by the trade unions, and write down a third recommendation for the trade unions working in other sectors to set up of EWC coordinators, too.

Last but not least the project aim is deepening cooperation among the trade unions in the energy sectors in the participant countries, and building closer relations between unions and EWCs.

Main event of the project:

1 Workgroupseminar (20-22. 02. 2011., Budapest, Hungary)

Subject: Directives concerning the EWCs, and EU-level social dialogue

The aim of the meeting is to provide an overview to the members of the European Workers Council in the newly admitted Central- and East-European countries participating in the project on the new EWC directive, on the European-level dialogue in the industry, and on the European policies applied in the industry. A further goal is that the participants assess the legal and institutional possibilities from the aspect of the workers’ needs and give account on their own experience concerning the practical process of participation. (The participants joined the European Union in the recent 6 years, therefore it is necessary that the seminar deals with special emphasis with the directive, the changes of the directive)

2 Workgroupseminar (20-22. 03. 2011., Berlin, Germany)

Subject: Structures and external relations of the EWC. Cooperation between the trade unions and the EWCs

The aim of the meeting is to analyze with the organizations involved in the project the impact of fast corporate transformations on internal decision making capacities and the satisfactory functionality of the forums provided for them by the European legislation and the corporate practice. A further goal is to disclose the communication channels between the various decision making levels, forums and actors, and the potentials of their further development from the aspect of the workers’ representation.

3 Workgroupseminar (10-12. 04. 2011., Paris, France)

Subject: Workgroups, networks

The aim of the meeting is that the organizations involved in the project analyze the functioning of the EWCs and other participation organizations (forums at national or group level, workers councils, working committees) and develop networks by assigning the national-level EWC coordinators maintained by the trade unions.

Conference (17-18. 06. 2011. Budapest, Hungary)

The aim of the conference is the summing up of the conclusions of the workgroup seminars, the discussion of the expert reports, getting familiar with the employers’ opinion and integration with the technical materials as well as acceptance of recommendations on the directions of the further development of participation rights.

Odborový svaz ECHO
Federatia Nationala a Sindicatelor din Electricitate UNIVERS
Fédération Nationale des Mines et l'Énergie CGT
Energeticko-Chemicky Otborovy Zvaz
Ver.di - Vereinte Dienstleistungs-Gewerkschaft

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