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EWC court cases (jurisprudence)

In 2008 the Workers' Participation Unit of the ETUI started researching and collecting EWC-related court cases and included this collection into the existing database of European Works Councils (www.ewcdb.eu/court-cases). The jurisprudence database grown since and currently contains a collection of more than 70 various court cases and numerous articles. All of them are linked to EWCs registered in the EWC database and searchable via an efficient search engine.

This section features information related to the EWC and SE-related jurisprudence.

For all questions or suggestions in this regard please contact Romek Jagodziński, Senior Researcher, ETUI.

We welcome any tips or information about the relevant court judgements/cases (please contact R. Jagodziński).

[Currently in construction, will be updated soon]

Structure of the EWC jurisprudence database:

1) EUCJ level jurisprudence on EWCs and SE works councils

1.1. Directly linked to EWCs;

1.2. Indirectly linked to EWCs (subsidiary jurisprudence relevant for EWC rights and operation);

2) National level jurisprudence  on EWCs and SE works councils

2.1 Directly linked to EWCs;

2.2. Indirectly linked to EWCs (subsidiary jurisprudence e.g. on information & consultation rights at the level of local works councils, employee representation, etc. relevant for EWC rights and operation);

Recent Developments:

New search engine for court cases database available at www.ewcdb.eu/court-cases

- possibility to search jurisprudence by keywords;

- possiblity to search jurisprudence by EWC Directive's article to which a case is linked (under construction).

Workers' Participation Europe network

The WPEurope network (formerly known as SEEurope) has been confined with the task to map national databases on court cases. Outocomes of the mapping exercise are expected mid-2017

EWCs' access to justice: an obstacle course [infographic]

In 2018/19 the ETUI produced an infograhic visualising possible hurdles that EWCs may come across when considering litigation against company management violating EWC rules. The infographic means to flag possible problems that EWCs need to take into account and be aware of when opting for a court case. It is not an exhaustive/complete list, but one that gathers experience of many EWCs who have gone through the process.

Feel free to comment and provide suggestions for improvements by contacting the author Romek Jagodziński

Volume 2 of this infographic is in preparation (2021) and will show possible solutions to the problems identified.

Conference Paper: 'Are European fundamental rights to information and consultation getting diluted by national implementations? Study on implementation of European Works Councils Directive 2009/38/EC in the field of access to justice'

By Romuald Jagodzinski

The ETUI continues its research on EWCs' access to justice. During the 2014 Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) conference 'IREC 2014 - The future of the European Social Model – New perspectives for industrial relations, social and employment policy in Europe?' held at the Eurofound in Dublin on 12-14 September 2014 a paper by Romuald Jagodziński discussing implementation of sanctions for violation of EWC laws across Europe was presented.

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The European Federation of Food Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) brings Lactalis to court

In a statement issued on 8 February, the European Federation of Food Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) said it will take legal action against Lactalis. Along with nine affiliated unions in France, Spain, Italy and Belgium, EFFAT is demanding that the French diary giant set up a European works council. In the statement, the union federation highlights that on “several occasions EFFAT has supported its affiliates demanding the establishment of an EWC in the Lactalis Group, a demand that the world leader of the dairy industry has always rejected”. “Information and consultation rights are key elements of the EU social acquis and cannot be neglected by transnational companies. We want Lactalis to stick to its obligations and be transparent with its employees,” the federation adds. The first court hearing of the legal proceeding will take place in Laval, Brittany, on 26 March 2018.

(source: PlanetLabor, 09/02/2018)

CAC's groundbreaking judgement in the EWC Oracle case

On 12 February, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in London delivered its judgment in a dispute between the Oracle European Works Council and the group’s management. While the case featured, sadly, a fairly ordinary dispute over restructuring and lack of appropriate EWC involvement, some parts of the judgement of the Central Arbitration Committee leave many experts concerned. The CAC decided, among others, that:

1. EWC requests  for financial information about the redundancy plans had the sole purpose of checking or challenging management's decision, which is not within the competence of EWCs;

2. As to whether there is an obligation on management to wait until the EWC issues its opinion before implementing a managerial decision decision at national and local level, the CAC found that the legal provisions referring to linking and the coordination of procedures at European and national level 'do not indicate that the management cannot apply its decision before the European Works Council issues its opinion'.

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