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European-level Representation

Swedish members of bodies linked to European Works Councils and the European Company are – in line with Swedish practice elsewhere – appointed by the local unions the company negotiates with.

European Works Councils

Swedish members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for an EWC are appointed by the local union bodies with whom the company has collective agreements. If the unions cannot agree who should be appointed then the union with the largest number of members makes the appointment. If there are several Swedish members the procedure followed is similar to that for board level representation. This states that if one union has 80% of the employees in the company, then it is entitled to appoint all the members, otherwise each of the two unions with the largest membership in the company share the membership. If the company is not covered by a collective agreement, the union with the largest number of members in the company appoints the Swedish members. The legislation does not specify whether or not the individual should be an employee of the company.

The procedure is the same for Swedish members of an EWC set up under the fallback procedure in the annex to the directive, except that the legislation states specifically that the individual or individuals appointed from Sweden must be employed by the company.

European Company

Swedish members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for a European Company are appointed by the local union bodies with which the company has collective agreements. If the unions cannot agree who should be appointed then the union with the largest number of members makes the appointment. If there are several Swedish members the procedure followed is similar to that for board level representation. This states that if one union has 80% of the employees in the company, then it is entitled to appoint all the members, otherwise each of the two unions with the largest membership in the company share the membership. If the company is not covered by a collective agreement, the union with the largest number of members in the company appoints the Swedish members. The legislation does not specify whether or not the individual should be an employee of the company.

The procedure is the same for Swedish members of the SE Representative body (known in the Swedish legislation as an employees’ council) set up under the fallback procedure in the annex to the directive, except that the legislation states specifically that the individual or individuals appointed from Sweden must be employed by the company.

The same arrangements as for the employees’ council also apply to Swedish employee representatives at board level, where they are appointed under the fallback procedure in the annex to the directive. The one difference is that the unions may, if they wish transfer the choice of the board level representatives to the employees’ council.

Swedish legislation makes it clear that in Swedish European Companies set up under the fallback procedure, employee representatives should not participate in discussions relating to collective agreements or industrial action.

Further information on the national SE legislation can be found here.

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.