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European-level Representation

With works councils dominating national employee representation, it is not surprising to find that it is they that choose the representatives in European bodies.

European Works Councils

Members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for the EWC are appointed through the works council structures: by the group works council if there is a group works council; the central works council or councils if no group works council exists; and the works council or councils if there is no central works council. They should either be members of these bodies, trade union officials or representatives of the chamber of labour.

The situation is the same for members of the fallback EWC, as set up under the annex to the directive, except that trade union officials can only be members where they are already members of the Austrian works council – this possibility exists in theory but rarely in practice. Representatives of the chamber of labour cannot be members of the fallback EWC.

European Company

Members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for the European Company are appointed through the works council structures: by the group works council if there is a group works council; the central works council or councils if no group works council exists; and the works council or councils if there is no central works council. They should either be members of these bodies or trade union officials.

The situation is the same for members of the SE representative body (works council), as set up under the annex to the directive, except that trade union officials can only be members where they are already members of the Austrian works council – this possibility exists in theory but rarely in practice.

The same rules apply for Austrian employee representatives at board level. Further information on the national SE legislation can be found here.

L. Fulton (2015) Worker representation in Europe. Labour Research Department and ETUI. Produced with the assistance of the SEEurope Network, online publication available at http://www.worker-participation.eu/National-Industrial-Relations.