Brussels, 20/02/2008

We strongly support the opinion of the Commission that EWCs must be in a position to play their full part with regard to development in undertakings, anticipating and accompanying change, and fostering genuine transnational social dialogue in a rapidly changing economic and social context, ” says Reiner Hoffmann, Deputy General Secretary of the ETUC.

The employers’ organisations were up to now heavily against any revision of the EWC directive. But it seems that they have changed their view and are more open to a negotiated solution. “The ETUC will be ready for a substantial and rapid negotiation. But we will not accept the employers playing for time,” says Reiner Hoffmann.

In the Communication, the Commission tackles a number of relevant issues for the revision. The Commission also makes explicit reference to Article 27 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to which information and consultation rights are a fundamental social right. That means for the ETUC that workers in companies with less than 1,000 employees cannot any longer be excluded from this right. As a result, the threshold, which is fixed at 1,000 in the current directive, must be significantly reduced.