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EWC Workshop for Insurance Companies Berlin, 28./29.10.2010.

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Presentation on theme: "EWC Workshop for Insurance Companies Berlin, 28./29.10.2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 EWC Workshop for Insurance Companies Berlin, 28./

2 EWC agreements in the insurance industry: exchange of experience morning session Part 1: Experience on the characteristics of the current EWC agreements (number of seats, meeting frequency, work priorities, activities of the Executive Committee, etc.) Part 2: The structuring of information and consultation in practice

3 External speakers afternoon session The new EWC Directive: Evelyne Pichot, European Commission, Brussels, responsible for the revision of the EWC Directive The future of social dialogue in the insurance industry at EU level and in the European insurance companies: Dr. Sebastian Hopfner, Managing Director of the German employers' federation for the insurance sector, Munich and Chairman of the Committee for Social Affairs and Education at the European employers federation CEA

4 Participation rights of EWCs in the insurance industry: outlook morning session The structuring of information and consultation in the new EWC Directive Adaptation needs of existing EWC agreements to the new legal situation Experience of "good practice" and on substantive issues of the EWC work Collective bargaining network of UNI Finance

5 Experience on the characteristics of current EWC agreements Number of seats in the EWC and the executive committee (EC) Number of countries (EU and beyond) Meeting frequency of the EWC and the EC Time-off, training, experts, link with trade unions Work priorities, activities of the EC Communication policy

6 Allianz 135,000 employees, 32 seats including CH, all countries with more than 100 employees, 5 seats in the EC, India is a subject of the EWC Meeting frequency 2x per year of the EWC and the EC 4x per year Time-off full time for chairman, training provided with UNI, including language training, only trade union experts, trade unions are represented in the EWC (ver.di + GPA in mandate of UNI) Work priorities: health and stress, lifelong learning, best practice at restructuring Communication policy: to be improved, Intranet, workforce meetings Access right to all subsidiaries

7 Axa 14 countries, 135,000 employees, all countries with more 150 employees are represented in the EWC, 47 – 54 seats in the EWC and 12 in the executive committee (EC), one responsible person for extra-European countries and one for Eastern Europe Meeting frequency of the EWC 2x per year and the EC 8x per year, additional extraordinary meetings (EWC and EC) Time-off for all EC members nearly 100%, initial and further training provided and paid, language training, expert from UNI Work priorities of the EC: Telework, employment and anticipation, Charter for restructuring Communication policy: Intranet and Internet site meetings in countries with special problems

8 Ergo (daughter of Münchner Rück) 55,000 employees, 27 EWC members out of 10 countries, and the executive committee (EC) 4 members Meeting frequency of the EWC 1x per year and the EC 2 – 3x per year Time-off not yet included in the agreement, no right for training Work priorities: permanent restructuring, occupational health issues

9 Generali 65,000 employees, 18 countries, 42 EWC members, all countries with more than 50 employees are represented, 7 members in the EC from different countries (not more than 1 per country) EWC meetings 2x per year and EC 3x per year, 2 extraordinary meetings in 2010 Time-off on an hourly basis, training provided including language training, experts paid by the company, 50% of all EWC members are not affiliated to a trade union Work priorities: work contracts in Eastern Europe Communication policy: Internet site

10 Zurich 28,000 employees, 12 countries, all with more than 50 employees are represented, 27 EWC members and 8 EC members Meeting frequency of the EWC 1x per year and the EC 4x per year, additional meetings possible Time-off if necessary, EWC secretary or speaker 100% time-off, training is provided and paid, until 2 experts paid by the company, link with UNI, limited resources of the EWC members Work priorities: health and safety, EU standards to be a target, outsourcing and offshoring, framework agreement with management on information and consultation details Communication policy: no specific provisions, to be improved

11 Gaz de France November 2006: EWC stops the merger with the Suez group by interim injunction January 2008: the highest French court confirms the decision → Supervisory and administrative boards of multinational companies can not decide to merge with other companies until the consultation of the EWC has taken place in due form and wasn't completed correctly in all details. A financial analysis is also part of the procedure by consultancy firms which the EWC selects itself. The judges give an independent participation right to the EWC, independently of participation rights in individual countries. Highlight of a number of verdicts in France which strengthen the meaning of transnational employee representations

12 What means “information”? The Directive 1994 doesn't define information at all The Directive 2009 describes as follows: Information means transmission of data by the employer to the employees’ representatives in order to enable them to acquaint themselves with the subject matter and to examine it at such time, in such fashion and with such content as are appropriate to enable employees’ representatives to undertake an in-depth assessment of the possible impact and, where appropriate, prepare for consultations with the competent organ of the group

13 The following questions must be answered: Examination: How fast can EWC members check financial data thoroughly? Time: When is the adequate moment? Method: What is adequate to the purpose? Assessment: How can EWC members judge the possible consequences thoroughly? Preparation for consultations: How does one prepare for it? Which tools and framework conditions to be fulfilled? When will a measure have significant consequences? (Example Wabco, October 2008: "if by an alteration at least 50 jobs are concerned in two countries")

14 What means “consultation”? The Directive 1994 defines as “exchange of views and dialogue” The Directive 2009 defines consultation more exactly: at such time, in such fashion and with such content as enables employees’ representatives to express an opinion on the basis of the information provided within a reasonable time, which may be taken into account within the group

15 The following questions must be answered: At which moment does a statement still have influence on the decision making of the central management? Adequate period: How fast can EWC members work out a statement which takes into account all relevant financial data? What does “statement” mean at all? (in France this is an alternative restructuring plan, worked out with the assistance of consultancy firms) A missing statement leads automatically to a prohibitory injunction against central management (see example of Gaz de France)

16 June 2009: the French electronics company Thales signed a first transnational agreement for 56,000 employees in eleven countries. Aim: improving the professional development of employees Whereas normally only general principles are defined in comparable agreements for other companies, Thales has committed itself to achieve concrete objectives and to put in place a monitoring process. April 2010: additonal agreement on personnel development reviews This is a milestone for staff development within high tech companies. Examples of transnational agreements

17 November 2009: the Luxembourg based steel group ArcelorMittal, which has been hit hard by the crisis, signed an agreement for 115,000 employees in 34 countries. Aim: promote long term job security, the development of employee competency and to improve social dialogue. A high-profile group for social dialogue has been set up, to monitor the profitability of all sites and the supervision of the agreement. Establishment of parity based control committees in each country. An arbitration board is planned for any disputes. Examples of transnational agreements

18 July 2010: the French metal companies, Alstom and Schneider Electric, signed an agreement for EU, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey. Aim: to regulate conditions for employees which are affected by the sale of the power transmission and distribution divisions of the French nuclear company Areva to Alstom and Schneider Electric. Three years guarantee for no plant closures and no redundancies. Once a year, the EWC will evaluate compliance to the agreement. This is the first time in EU history where the social consequences of an acquisition are regulated in a transnational collective agreement. Examples of transnational agreements


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