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2009 - EWC Best Practices

“Exchange of Best Practices about Information, Consultation, Participation and Transnational Negotiations in EWCs from the Construction and Wood Sectors”

In Autumn 2009/Spring 2010 the EFBWW organised three seminars for EWC restricted committees from the construction, wood/furniture and building materials’ sector.

The following three seminars, gathering members from some 35 EWCs, were organised:
• Seminar I for EWC secretariats/EWC steering committees of EWC from the Construction sector from 23-25 November 2009 in Costa da Caparica (P)
• Seminar II for EWC secretariats/EWC steering committees of EWC from the Wood and Furniture sectors from 13-15 January 2010 in Vienna (A)
• Seminar III for EWC secretariats/EWC steering committees of EWC from the Building materials/Cement sector from 22-24 February 2010 in Costa da Caparica (P)

The main objective of the project was to exchange best practices in the field of information, consultation, participation and transnational negotiations in EWCs from the construction and wood sectors.
The exchange of information between existing EWCs is of great importance as in the past some EWCs put great emphasis on developing a well functioning system of information and consultation. Other EWC on the other hand have built up experiences with transnational negotiations resulting in agreements on a number of subjects such as Occupational Health and Safety, Vocational Training, subcontracting, worker representation…

The methodology followed was, in the first place, to inform the participants about their rights to information and consultation and to stress how in a number of EWCs information and consultation rights are being dealt with. In this sense it was also decided not to focus solely on best practice examples from the construction and wood sectors, but also to present some more information on best practices from other sectors.

The information round was followed by the presentation of a number of best practice cases from EWCs from the construction and wood sectors, discussing especially on how an EWC can reach its objectives in practice and which difficulties are being encountered. The following best practice cases were presented during the seminars:
• VINCI – “equal rights policy”
• EIFFAGE – "stress questionnaire” and “crisis management"
• PORR – "Posting of workers"
• HOLCIM – "Occupational Health and Safety"
• HEIDELBERG CEMENT – "Closing down of companies"
• LHOIST – “EWC agreement”

The participants of each EWC were requested to define a specific “best practice” aim (or several aims) to be taken up by the EWC in the next years with the assistance of the EWC coordinator, also describing the various practical steps involved and the actors involved (Download list of aims).

After the seminars a number of EWC initiatives have been taken, and some of them already successfully carried out.
The aims initially set were met: to exchange and share experiences among the members of the European Works Councils, to strengthen the skills of the EWC members, to identify common problems and their possible solutions, to disseminate the best practices that were identified and to establish aims to improve the functioning of the European Works Councils.

Further information, the meeting documents and the results of the activities of the EWCs involved can be consulted and downloaded in the European Works Councils section of the EFBWW website – see EWC BEST PRACTICES.
Do not hesitate to contact the EFBWW secretariat (Tel.: +32/2/2271041 – fleus@efbh.be) should you require further assistance.

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