Employees have a right to a third of the seats on the supervisory board of companies in the private sector with more than 50 employees, provided some other conditions are met, and to half the seats in state-owned companies.
Slovak members on bodies relating to European Works Councils and the European Company are generally appointed by existing employee representatives where they are present, who can be either trade union representatives and/or works council members. The one exception is Slovak representatives at board level. They are elected by all employees.
Employees have a third of the seats on the supervisory board of state-owned companies. The right also to have seats on the boards of many privately owned companies has now been removed.
During the period of privatisation in the early 1990s employee share ownership was relatively widespread. Today, however, they do not play a significant role in the Latvian economy. Other forms of workers’ financial participation – in the context of cooperatives and profit-sharing schemes – are not well developed in Latvia.
Around 40% of employees in the Czech Republic are covered by collective bargaining, most through company level negotiations, although in many companies there is no bargaining at all. Industry level agreements cover some industries and following legal changes in 2005 they can again be extended more widely.
Union density is low in Estonia at around 10%. It fell sharply in the 1990s, but it now seems more stable. Most union members are organised in two major confederations, one, EAKL, primarily manual the other, TALO, primarily non-manual.
Unlike many other eastern European countries, employee ownership as a form of employee financial participation enjoyed no special treatment in the privatization process and consequently plays no significant role in the ownership structure of the Czech economy. Profit-sharing schemes are somewhat more common.
France has a complex system of employee representation at workplace level, through both the unions and structures directly elected by the whole of the workforce. Where trade unions are present, the key figure will be the trade union delegate.
Most representatives in European bodies are chosen by joint meetings of employees’ representatives – trade unionists and works council members – where they exist. But board level representatives for a European Company are chosen in the same way as for a national company – through election by the employees.
ČMKOS is the dominant union confederation in the Czech Republic, although there are others. Overall around a sixth of all employees are union members.