BASF SE pioneers stronger worker consultation in Europe

Brussels, 22/11/2007

Once more a major company, active in 22 European Member States as well as Norway and Switzerland, and with more than 60,000 employees, is making an explicit commitment to management at European level, coupled with fair representation for workers on the company’s managerial bodies.

The BASF SE has pledged to inform and consult the European representatives of all the workers on company plans and developments, three times a year. Through meetings organised in the different countries, the BASF Europa Betriebsrat (European Works Council) will also have the opportunity to keep staff informed at national level.

In future, the company management will be obliged to seek consensus with the European representatives of the interests of workers before a decision is implemented. The agreement states that dialogue on a company decision that will have consequences for employment will remain open until it has been subject to in-depth and conclusive discussions with the workers’ side. Such a high level of protection against redundancy negotiated with all members of the BASF Europa Betriebsrat (European Works Council) is evidence of the strong degree of recognition accorded by management.

Workers have proved through this SE agreement that they want to work responsibly for the sustainable development of a key company for European industry,” said EMCEF General Secretary Reinhard Reibsch.

In today’s climate of aggressive investors, compulsory and extensive co-decision with workers in Europe is becoming an important part of good corporate management. Other European companies should follow this example and, in their own interests, consider the support their workers and trade unions can offer. In this context, the fierce resistance from European employers to improving the European Works Council (EWC) Directive looks more and more incomprehensible,” added Reiner Hoffmann, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), commenting on the BASF SE outcome.

More information:

Patricia Grillo, ETUC Head of Press and Communications : pgrillo@etuc.org

Reinhard Reibsch, EMCEF General Secretary : rreibsch@emcef.org

Robert Oswald (BASF) : robert.oswald@basf.com

22.11.2007
Press release