Brussels, 12/03/2007

Also for the first time the employers' European Banking Federation (EBF), through its European Social Affairs Committee President, was involved in negotiations to set up an EWC, and he is a signatory to the final UniCredit agreement.

The EBF participated with UNI-Europa - the trade union grouping that is already involved in a number of EWC agreements in sectors like finance, commerce, postal and telecom - national unions and staff representatives and UniCredit management.

The UniCredit agreement goes beyond the basic requirements of European Union legislation and could prove a pointer for the revision process of the EWC directive.

It extends the geographical scope to all countries in which UniCredit operates in Europe, irrespective of whether they are within the European Economic Area (EEA). So, employees from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will also take part in the EWC.

The agreed functions for the UniCredit EWC go beyond simply informing and consulting employees about business developments. Jointly with management, it can develop common guidelines on issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility.

The agreement ensures the participation of UNI-Europa Finance in an advisory capacity on the EWC. UNI-Europa Finance already attends 30 EWCs as an adviser or non-voting member.

"We welcome the active participation of EBF, through the President of its Banking Committee for European Social Affairs, and the Italian Banking Association (Associazione Bancaria Italiana - ABI)," said Oliver Roethig, Head of UNI-Europa Finance. "This is a first for employers' associations, including signing an EWC agreement."

"This agreement stresses the importance of European Works Councils in developing a transnational dimension to industrial relations and helping to make the European social model a reference for other world regions," said European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Deputy General Secretary Reiner Hoffmann. "The European social partners - employers associations and unions - have a key role to play, not least in promoting good practice in EWCs."

For further information please contact:

- Oliver Roethig, UNI-Europa Finance:

+41 22 365 2100 (office)
+4179 679 6505 (mobile)

oliver.roethig@uniglobalunion.org

- Noel Howell, UNI Press Officer:
+41 22 365 2129 (office)

+4179 446 2703 (mobile)

press@uniglobalunion.org

- Patricia Grillo, ETUC Head of Press and Communications

+ 32 (0)2 224 04 30 (office)

+32 (0)477 77 01 64 (mobile)

pgrillo@etuc.org

European Social Dialogue, EWC/Workers' rights Information and Consultation