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Welcome to ewctraining.eu! 

In this section we would like to keep you up to date with latest news regarding our EWC, SE Works Council and SNB training. 

Work programme 2018-2019

Below you will find an overview of all “open courses” for EWC/SE WC members for this activity year. Block the dates now if you are interested in any of these seminars. As soon as registration is possible, a link will be available to the official invitation and registration details.

  • 6-8.06.2018 “the challenges of digitalisation” Brussels, Belgium
    • Will digitalisation lead us to a ‘brand new world’ or will it rather reinforce a downward spiral? How can worker representatives in multinational companies anticipate, influence and manage this (r)evolution? Drawing on new research, the workshop will explore the potential to accompany the introduction of new technology in a way which safeguards workers' rights in a coherent manner across the company. read more
  • 19-21.09.2018 “understanding financial data” Frankfurt, Germany
    • Introduction to the basic financial terminology, understanding a balance sheet and annual accounts for worker representatives from the finance sector (bank & insurance). The workshop will include a visit to the European Central Bank. read more
  • 24-26.09.2018 “empowering EWCs in the property services sector” Prague, Czech Republic
    • An advanced training for select committee & active EWC members, aiming to improve the efficiency of their meetings and holding the company to account. Further topics covered will include representativeness, in particular in relation to gender, job roles and developing meaningful engagement with members from Central & Eastern Europe. This seminar will be organised in cooperation with UNI Europa. Participation is limited to EWC members and union coordinators from ISS, G4S and Securitas. read more
  • 20-22.11.2018 “Occupational Health & Safety (OSH) as a topic for transnational action” Bilbao, Spain
    • Though not mentioned in the subsidiary requirements of the EWC directive, nor in the minimum standards of the SE directive, health & safety is a topic that is transnational by nature, supported by several EU-level directives and recommendations. The training will provide a better understanding of these European rules, look at best practice examples and encourage the participants to develop a joint action plan. It will also include a visit to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. read more
  • 23-25.01.2019 “understanding financial data” Bratislava, Slovakia
    • Introduction to the basic financial terminology, understanding a balance sheet and annual accounts for worker representatives from industrial sectors. read more
  • 29-31.01.2019 “building trade union power through EWCs” Vienna, Austria
    • Organising workers and increasing membership remains at the heart of union strategies. Building upon the experience of a first workshop in January 2018, further tools and resources will be explored on how EWCs and SE WCs can contribute to a stronger union presence in multinational companies. This training will be organised in cooperation with industriAll Europe, which will also select the participants. read more

Current courses

18.04 – 29.05.2018 The online course “EWC – rules of the game”, which covers all basic legal aspects of EWC activities and gives insights and inspiration about EWC work in practice, is ready for a third run. Registration has started and will close on April 10th. read more

Coming soon

  • A new manual for European workers representatives on “How to prepare for company change”. 
  • The online course “EWC – rules of the game” will soon also be available in French.

Previous courses

2018

  • In cooperation with the European Trade Union Federation industriAll, a training was organised from 23 to 25 January in Budapest, Hungary, on “Company policy and EWCs as an instrument for organising and building trade union power”. 19 delegates from 8 different countries, half of which coming from Eastern Europe, learned about experiences gained in Hungary, the organising tools developed by the Baltic Organising Academy and the activities of the Central European Organising Centre (COZZ). Dr Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick and Professor Richard Hyman made a valuable contribution from an academic perspective, highlighting the general evolution of union density, different organising models and the potential of EWCs and framework agreements. The possible contribution of the EWC was discussed in more detail among the participants, considering on the one hand the existing legal rights and duties and on the other hand suggesting new initiatives that could be initiated. A final brainstorm around elements to be included in a practical guide, subjects and methods for a topical training, the use of a list of target companies and alternative company-level tools and policies resulted in many concrete ideas and new initiatives. In conclusion, the industriAll General Secretary Luc Triangle reiterated the commitment of the European Federation to support its member organisations with their organising initiatives. Follow-up will be ensured through the industriAll secretariat, the Company Policy Committee and another training early 2019.

2017

  • The EU directive 2014/95 on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information was the main topic of a seminar in Bologna, Italy, which was organised in cooperation with CGIL from 15 to 17 November 2017. 24 EWC members and union coordinators from different sectors discussed the relevance and practical use of this new legal instrument. Dr Volker Telljohann from the Economic and Social Research Institute IRES provided an introduction to the general theme of Corporate Social Responsibility, after which Hans-Detlev Küller from the German political and social education institute Arbeit und Leben clarified the content of the directive. After an interactive session, looking at ways of dealing with CSR matters in practice, a round table debate was organised to gain an insight into the potential impact of the directive on industrial relations. Enrico Somaglia from the European Trade Union Federation EFFAT analysed the shortcomings and positive aspects of the law, inviting EWC members to claim the non-financial statement of their company and insist on being informed and consulted on these matters. The view from a local union perspective was expressed by Doris Meissner from IGBCE. Further contributions concerned the legal transposition process in Italy and an academic take on the relevance of the directive for unions and worker representatives. Gradually, a toolbox could be composed, containing all relevant guidelines, directives, tips and tricks and other practical elements on how to put non-financial information high on the agenda. The seminar concluded with the definition of an action plan and a roadmap for the optimal use of the EU directive.
  • For the first time, but definitely not for the last time, a three-day course was organised on the basics of financial data in Kagel-Möllenhorst, Germany. From 20 to 22 September 2017 24 EWC members from 10 different countries, mainly from the food, transport and industrial sectors, learned about the basics of financial terminology, understanding the balance sheet and the annual accounts of their company. Experts from the German consultant PCG guided the participants through the very technical vocabulary, revealing the reality behind the numbers and helping them to consider the relevant key performance indicators and to identify the key questions to ask their management. The theory was largely illustrated by practical examples and eventually resulted in the composition of a model questionnaire which can be used by the worker representatives in their EWCs and SE WCs. 
  • In cooperation with UNI Europa a course for EWC coordinators was organised in Bilbao from 3 to 4 May 2017, putting them “At the heart of transnational trade union strategies in multinational companies”. It was a very interactive and intense exchange with a mix of 14 trade union officers and company representatives from 10 different countries. The debates focused on the UNI guidelines and practical experiences with coordinating between the EWC and global union alliances. In particular, a joint strategy between these two bodies on restructuring and the option of negotiating framework agreements were developed in more detail. Highlight of the training was an introduction to the activities of the ‘Central European Organising Centre - COZZ’. This organisation was set up by UNI and has its office in Warsaw. Its goal is to help local unions in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary with campaigning, networking and recruiting members. The course ended with the development of concrete action plans with a view to establish and activate more union alliances. As some of the participants stated, this left them “packed with new ideas” and “ feeling energised and with very useful tools”.
  • From 1 to 3 March 2017, a seminar for European Works Council members was organised on Occupational Health & Safety as a topic for transnational action. 23 representatives from 16 different companies and 9 different nationalities came together in Bilbao to learn more about the European framework directive, how to perform a risk assessment and exchange ideas about an action plan for the EWC. Richard Jeantet, consultant from Secafi, and Viktor Kempa, senior researcher from the ETUI, provided the highly appreciated expert assistance. The seminar also included a visit to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA), which before was unknown to many participants. They considered it a real discovery and great source of information which could definitely help them a lot in future discussions on health & safety matters. Although some would have wanted to go even deeper into the topic, the overall appreciation was very high. A seminar which is definitely worth repeating.

2016

  • York was the location for this year’s “English language and communication course for EWCs”. 13 worker representatives from 6 different countries participated in this intense language training, which took place from 17 to 21 October 2016.  
  • How to achieve better coordination and communication for European Works Councils in the Commerce sector was the subject of an ETUI seminar taking place in Florence, Italy, from 2 to 4 May 2016. 18 employee representatives and trade union coordinators participated in the event. Major companies from the sector, such as Metro, Fnac, Delhaize, Carrefour, Ikea, Inditex, Auchan and H&M were represented. Special attention was given to the UNI Europa Commerce Guidelines on EWCs. One of the final results of the seminar was a detailed overview of tasks and responsibilities for the EWCs, the trade union alliances, the European and Global Union Federation and the local unions to strengthen the network between these different actors.
  • A seminar on "the practice of EWCs" for recently appointed or elected SNB, EWC or SE WC members took place in Warsaw, Poland, from 7 to 9 September 2016. This was the seventh session covering the basics of EWC activities in a series that started three years ago. Once again, the interest was overwhelming, with more than 50 registrations. 29 representatives from Poland, Romania, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Italy discussed the legal framework and exchanged their experiences and good practices. The communication strategy and internal structure of the Fortum EWC was presented as an inspiring example. Guillaume Durivaux, policy officer of EPSU, presented the policies and guidelines with regard to EWCs from the perspective of the European Trade Union Federations, while dr. Robert Szewczyk from the international department of Solidarność underlined the importance of European cooperation as seen by the local union federations.
  • 17 local trade union officers participated in a seminar on “Trade union coordination of EWCs and SE Works Councils” in Bratislava, Slovakia from 3 to 5 October 2016. The programme included a critical view on the legal framework, including a better understanding of the differences between the EWC and the SE regulation, a debate about the guidelines from the European Trade Union Federations on the purpose and practical approach of trade union coordination of EWCs, an assessment of the problems that such coordinators may face in their role and a look at the potential of EWCs as a tool for trade union action. A highlight of the training was a panel debate with Aline Conchon, policy officer of industriAll, Annick Aerts of the Belgian union LBC/NVK and experienced EWC coordinator, and Anders Carlson, chairman of the Bombardier EWC. The debate was animated by Miroslav Hajnoš, international officer of the Slovak union confederation KOZ SR, who asked the panellists what their vision was on the major challenges for EWCs, the responsibility of both business and unions to ensure a proper information and consultation and possible future evolutions. He also explained how the unions in Slovakia strive for a stronger representation within multinational companies. The seminar concluded with a matrix overview of the different communication lines which need to be maintained in order to ensure an efficient and effective union coordination.

this page was last updated on 9 May 2018