With the growth of trade union movements all over the world, there was strong demand for employee’s right. One of the most prominent demands was the right of employee to participate in decision making. Such demands were particularly pronounced in cases where the decision involved interest of the employees in an organization.
Initially, the entrepreneurs and employers were reluctant to allow any such rights. However, with the modern democratic trends, it was only a matter of time before conceptual changes would take place. With the change in viewpoints and concepts regarding employer-employee relationship the master-servant relation concept was replaced by colleague based enterprises. European Works Council is an offshoot of demands for employee’s rights to participate in decision making.
Council of European Union passed a directive on the 22nd day of September, 1994 that marked the establishment of the European Works Council. Named EWC in short, the same was used for informing as well as consulting the employees in the companies that operated at the level of European Union.
The directive set in place the procedure for informing as well as consulting the employees in the companies that would operate at the level of European Union. EWC directive today applies to such companies that have at least 1000 employees within the European Union. Such companies should also have at least 150 employees in each of two member states of the Union.
Creation of the council was basically a response to the increased transnational restructuring process triggered by Single European Act. EWC deputes representatives of workers from all the European countries in the big multinational companies. In addition they also ensure that workers coming from divergent countries are told the same thing about the transnational plans and policies.
Advantage of being part of the EWC is that the concerned workers are set in direct line communication with top management of such transnational companies. Providing the worker’s representatives working in various enterprises across divergent countries in Europe, they allow them to get comprehensive idea about the transnational plans and policies.
Representation is allowed to workers in both the unions as well as in the national work councils that give them the opportunity to interact with each other. In result it develops common European response to transnational plans relating to employees.