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European-level Representation

In most cases the union or unions choose the Polish representatives for the bodies linked to European Works Councils or European Companies. The exception is board members, who are to be elected by all employees.

European Works Councils

Polish members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for an EWC are appointed by the representative union in the company. (A representative union for this purpose is defined as having at least 10% of the employees as members, or 7% if the local union organisation belonged to one of the three nationally representative unions, Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ.) If there is no representative union the members are elected by the workforce in a secret ballot. If there are several representative unions and they cannot agree, the members are elected by the workforce from candidates nominated by the unions. The legislation does not specify whether non-employees may be chosen.

The procedure is the same for Polish members of an EWC appointed under the fallback procedure in the annex to the directive.1

European Company

Polish members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for a European Company are appointed by the representative union in the company. (A representative union for this purpose is defined as having at least 10% of the employees as members, or 7% if the local union organisation belonged to one of the three nationally representative unions, Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ.) If there is no representative union the members are elected by the workforce in a secret ballot. If there are several representative unions and they cannot agree, the members are elected by the workforce from candidates nominated by the unions. The legislation specifically states that trade union representatives who are not employees may be included in the SNB, although it also states that employees must make up a majority of the SNB.

The procedure is the same for Polish members of an SE representative body appointed under the fallback procedure in the annex to the directive, although here they must be employees.

Employee representatives from Poland taking seats on the board under the fall back procedure in the annex to the directive must, in contrast, be elected by secret ballot at a meeting of all employees.

L. Fulton (2013) 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.