chapter  3
23 Pages

EWC Agreements: The Impact of the Directive on Coverage, Barriers, and Content

Article 5 of the Directive allows central management and employees or their representatives to take the initiative in establishing an EWC.1 If the initiative is taken by employees or their representatives, they must submit a written request to central management to initiate negotiations for the establishment of an SNB and latterly an EWC. In the light of the policy preferences of trade unionists to infl uence the terms of the establishment of EWCs and the international contacts available within trade union organisations, the practical implication of Article 5 is that unionists seek early involvement in the process of setting up an EWC. This chapter identifi es the extent to which employee representatives and trade union organisations have been able to develop EWCs, to infl uence the terms of the agreements that underpin their operation, and to amend agreements to conform with the evolution of EIF policy. In addition, the chapter assesses the barriers to the establishment of EWCs by reference to the politics of labour representation and the capacity of managers to exploit the terms of the Directive to resist initiatives taken by employee representatives to establish EWCs.