Friday, January 27, 2023

ETUI SEMINAR ON EUROPEAN WORKS COUNCILS

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On March 9-10, 2022 in Belgrade Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Serbia, in cooperation with the European Trade Union Institute, organized a seminar entitled „European Works Council for Candidate Countries“. Seminar was followed through the Zoom platform by the representatives of trade union confederations from North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey, while our participants, trade union representatives from companies, whose headquarters are in the EU, took part in person.
CATUS representative Saša Torlaković, President of the Construction and Industry of Construction Materials Workers of Serbia, opened the seminar. European Works Councils are bodies representing employees of multinational companies in the country. Councils provide company management with information and advice on business, long term plans and investments and all other important decisions at the European level that could affect the number and structure of employees, application of technology, restructuring, ..etc. Information and consultation are key functions of works councils while counselling often stays on the sidelines and is used only after the company restructuring. Numerous research show that representatives of the European Works Councils are pretty much excluded from the procedure of strategic making of corporate decisions while there are possibilities for trade union representatives to be included into the European Works Councils, which should be insisted upon.
Legal framework for the functioning of the European Works Councils represents a Directive on the establishment of European Works Council, passed in (94/45/EU) and revised in 2009 (2009/38/EU), whose transposition into Serbian legislation was planned to happen at the end of 2020.
The goal of this seminar was to clarify to the trade union representatives from candidate countries the content of the Directive, its practical implementation and challenges in its transposition into national legislation. Through group work participants were able to get information about how works councils function in practice in EU member states and how they are similar/different to/from trade union. Seminar was organised with the support of the European Union.

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