[Contact Us][Home]  English   Français
 


Advanced search

Construction Workers EU

OSHA Campaign

Stop social dumping

EurActiv.com

Back2OurFuture

Bricklayer LLP

Paritarian Funds

Posting workers


2009 - Communication in EWCs from the Construction and Wood sectors


In Spring 2010, the EFBWW organised two seminars for European Works Councils from the Construction, Construction Materials and Wood sectors with the aim to improve communication, not only within the EWCs, but also between works councils and workers. Despite cultural differences and language barriers worker representatives should find and use new ways to improve their mutual communication and information exchange. This progress is essential for developing networks of worker representatives at supranational level and to stimulate cooperation between national trade unions, all this with a view to strengthening international worker representation.

Two training seminars were organised: Seminar 1 in Florence (Italy) from 22-24 March 2010 and Seminar 2 from 26-28 April 2010 in Prague (Czech Republic).
The participants consisted of EWC secretaries/chairmen and restricted committees from the following transnational groups from the construction, construction materials and wood sectors: BESIX, CEGELEC, SPIE, BAM, BUZZI, VOLKER STEVIN, HOLCIM, ITALCEMENTI, PORR, HOCHTIEF, UNILIN, PFLEIDERER, RECTICEL, ETEX, CRH, LHOIST, CARMEUSE, HEIDELBERG CEMENT, STRABAG SE, ZÜBLIN, LAFARGE.

The methodology used for the seminars was a combination of general introductions (Communication best practices, technical challenges and solutions) and general discussions, working groups, individual EWC work and reporting in plenary, allowing the participants to learn from each others experience and aims for the future.
• Various „good practice“ examples were presented regarding intercultural communication between works council members. Examples which would be used by the participants as a source of inspiration during the working group sessions in establishing their “target”.
• “Communication in theory” and possible problems which could arise, was another topic giving useful instructions on how to improve communication and demonstrating how misunderstandings in intercultural communication can be avoided.
• The next working session gave participants the opportunity to report in small groups about their experiences with regard to ”communication”. This group work focused on three questions: 1. How to improve Communication both within the EWC and between works councils and its members; 2. What is the situation regarding Communication between the works councils and the complete workforce; 3. How can EWC make use of the press. The outcome of this session was a real eye-opener the general conclusion being that Communication did not function in a satisfactory way and that still a lot of ground had to be covered in order to reach an acceptable level. Following the sober results of the previous item, participants were asked to establish a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Timed) aim to improve the communication. These targets could focus on improving communication directly (such as creating a Newsletter, setting up an EWC blog or EWC website) or on another topic (such as renegotiation of the EWC agreement) in which process the newly acquired communication skills/new communication networks would be used. On the basis of the tasks specified and the clear division of roles and estimated timeline, each EWC should be able to reach its target and in this way substantially improve its communication skills and active knowledge of modern communication tools (transnational communication online) and setting up networks.

EWCs were asked to report on the progress of reaching their aim, with the assistance of the EWC coordinators, the results to be posted and updated on the EFBWW website, in this way also contributing to the overview of Best Practices regarding Information and Consultation which will gradually be built up over the next years.

The EWCs showed high interest in the topic of Communication. This was not only obvious through the high number of participating EWCs, but also through their active engagement during the seminars and reactions and feedback afterwards. As it is, the EWCs were given a basis which can and should be developed over the next few years (for instance by using the training facilities stipulated in some EWC agreements to improve communication skills for the whole EWC or by demanding extra facilities - language training/blog/website- for the EWC work). The EFBWW EWC coordinators will have to monitor and, if need be, stimulate the accomplishment of the tasks set.
The seminar was considered as very successful and productive due to the active and open cooperation of all the participants and is an example of how good communication can lead to results and a better understanding despite different cultural backgrounds and despite the language barriers. The most important task is to continue this communication at national level (works council) and at European level (EWC).

The seminar offered the participating EWCs the opportunity to exchange experiences and to establish a common aim to improve Communication. It is not easy to improve the communication between EWC members and Between EWCs and the rest of the workers. Often the language and cultural barriers are too high. But it is possible! By using small steps forward and with the right tools the information exchange can be optimised.

On the right hand side, please find for your information the list of SMART aims drafted by the individual EWCs and the main presentations used during the seminars.

The accomplished tasks and the main results of the EWC activities as a result of these seminars, will be posted in the European Works Councils’ section of the EFBWW website – see “EWC BEST PRACTICES”.

Find related articles on this subject
SMART aims of the EWCs involved – Download the English version.

PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - English.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - French.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - German.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - Italian.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - Dutch.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - Polish.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – 4 sides of a message - Swedish.

PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - English.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - French.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - German.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - Italian.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - Dutch.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - Polish.
PPT Matthias Hartwich – SMART aims - Swedish.

PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - English.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - French.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - German.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - Spanish.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - Italian.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - Dutch.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - Czech.
PPT Claudio Sottile – Different Cultures - Portuguese.

PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - English.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - French.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - German.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Spanish.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Italian.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Dutch.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Czech.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Polish.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Portuguese.
PPT Jan Voets – 3 angles communication - Romanian.

PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - English.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - French.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - German.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - Spanish.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - Italian.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - Dutch.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - Czech.
PPT Jan Voets – Levels of Communication - Portuguese.

PPT Jan Voets – Technical Challenges - French.
PPT Jan Voets – Technical Challenges - German.
PPT Jan Voets – Technical Challenges - Dutch.