European works councils

European works councils


Around 10 million workers across the EU have the right to information and consultation on company decisions at European level through their EWCs.

They give representatives of workers from all European countries in big multinational companies a direct line of communication to top management.

They also make sure that workers in different countries are all told the same thing at the same time about transnational policies and plans.

They give workers’ representatives in unions and national works councils the opportunity to consult with each other and to develop a common European response to employers’ transnational plans, which management must then consider before those plans are implemented.

– See more at:


European Works Council Directive

The European Work Council Directive establishes a European legal procedure for the establishment of European Works Councils (EWCs).


ETUI resources on European Works Councils and SE works councils

For comprehensive overviews of legislation, features, characteristics and recent publications on EWCs and SE works councils as well as on Societas Cooperative Europea (European Cooperative, SCE) and many more resources on European and national industrial relations visit the portal.

For EWC and SE works council training visit the newly created (December 2015) website by the ETUI Education Department.

For a list of literature in the field of EWCs we refer to the Highlights section European Works Councils in the Labourline website (web portal of the ETUI’s Documentation Centre).

European Trade Union Federations

(formerly known as European Industry Federations) – European level sectoral trade union organisations responsible, among others, for coordination and support for EWCs in the given sector and that have been providing input for the EWC database:

Sector EIF Website
Building & Woodwork European Federation of Building and Woodworkers
Metal, chemical and textile IndustriAll Europe (since 2012 regrouping former the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF), the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation (EMCEF) and the European Trade Union Federation for Textiles, Clothing and Leather (ETUF:TCL)
Public Services European Federation of Public Service Unions
Transport European Transport Workers’ Federation
Services (private) Uni Europa
Food, Agriculture, Tourism European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism sectors and allied branches

External links

Does your employer offshore have a European works council

(EWC)? if not Organise within your workplace to get  one put in place

Working offshore can you not afford to Join a  Trade Union? for more information on how to  organise and  protect your rights at work.

If you have a story relating to the oil and gas or offshore  industry that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our Offshore team in confidence at:

join unite 2

Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Check out 10 good reasons why you should join Unite.

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union



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