The EWPCC Conferences regularly bring together employee representatives and other practitioners, academic experts, trade unions and policy-makers to discuss relevant research and to debate topical issues around workers’ participation.
The 2021 EWPCC conference will take a close look at the role played by EWCs and SE-Works Councils in the pandemic. Without exception, multinational companies have all had to adapt their ways of working across all their sites in order to address the economic, health and social consequences of the pandemic. While multinational companies may not have implemented identical policies across all their sites, these measures were almost certainly coordinated across borders. What was the role of European Works Council or SE-Works Council in that process?
In plenary sessions and focused working groups, participants will have the opportunity to explore three aspects in particular:
1. The role of EWCs in general: How were EWCs and SE-Works Councils informed and consulted about the transnational dimensions of the policies implemented by multinational companies in the pandemic? Were EWCs able to actively exchange with one another about measures taken at individual sites or countries?
2. Health and safety protection: Health and safety protection was front and center of workplace responses to the pandemic. How did employee representatives, health and safety representatives, and unions address and coordinate these measures? Was there a European dimension to these activities?
3. The employment impact: The implementation of short-time work or temporary unemployment schemes played a crucial role in safeguarding employment across Europe; in multinational companies, these measures were implemented according to specific national labour market measures, usually involving negotiation with local employee representatives and unions. Was there a European dimension to these activities?
While the online format may not afford the same intensity of exchange that usually marks the annual EWPCC Conferences, we will nevertheless seek to give participants a fruitful mix of input and opportunities to exchange experience with one another.