1.4.2. Trade union alliance check list.
1.4.2.c. Cross - reference
Go to 1.2.c Business accounting: use of the manual
Go to 4.3.
Glossary annex business accounting
In order to provide a wider range of
information about communication within Europe an
Works Councils, we present some points after a previous research, edited by a
group of mainly German trade unionists and experts. The purpose of this
manual conceived by the Leonardo innovation transfer project TEAM.EWC is to
provide and distribute a seminar concept for trainers and coaches of EWCs.
The main focus of the material is on the development
of intercultural competence, legal and organisational
frameworks for EWCs and target-setting and decision-making processes.
TEAM.EWC provides shared indications about “How to relate with other
“inter-cultural communication” and language «European
network of workers’ representatives: Within the European Works Council the
scope and potential to include the members of the committee, as well as those
of the national workers’ representation, into a communication network should
be utilised. This network should be coordinated by the steering group of the
European Works Council and supported from the trade union side. In this way the European Works Council can make a contribution
both to the improved cooperation and to the intercultural understanding
within – and also on a national level and it can help improve the
communication between the company employees, especially for those in countries
where workers’ epresentation on a national level, and
hence the opportunity to share information among each other, does not exist.
Cultural differences between people
and groups are historically shaped by their background of class, age,
education, gender and personal experience. Cultural values are neither static
nor exclusively defined by nationality. Enhancing intercultural competence
for EWCs should cover two aspects:
Firstly, getting to know other people’s understanding of themselves as
employee representatives, and thereby getting an overview of the different
systems of interest representation in the countries of the EWC members.
Secondly, learning about differences in the social behaviour
and interaction between people in general, which are influenced by historically
developed cultural traditions, and how these may interfere with the joint
work in the EWC.»
TEAM.EWC summarizes in actual and effective words, taking a clear
position about Language barriers and intercultural bridging:
«Language barriers and inter-cultural challenges: differences between
language and culture play an important role in the development of the
communication among workers’ representatives, and with the management, and
should not be underestimated. This challenge must be faced and the problems
that appear in this context must be solved.
Language problems: The issue has been accompanying the European Works
Council from the very beginning. It is clear that it is of great help for the
development of mutual relationships if one can communicate in a common
language. This common language can only be English, according to our present
understanding. So there is no other option but to
accept the fact that anyone who wants to make a meaningful contribution to a
European Works Council for a considerable duration of time should be in
command of the English language or at least learn the language. English is
not only the global language of management; it also offers many benefits
regarding the acquisition of skill which other
languages cannot offer. For example, it is fairly easy
to reach a level of proficiency on which one can make oneself understood
(without mistakes) relatively quickly. Hence EWC
members have the opportunity to converse outside of meetings about questions
concerning everyday life, particularly about working life.
Usually, the language skills of EWC members tend not to be sufficient enough to comprehend complexissues,
let alone to make representations thereof. This is why it is indispensable to
make use of interpreters and of translations of significant documents.
Therefore, interpreters and translated documents must be
provided to any EWC member who requires either one or the other. This
has to be stipulated in the agreement in implicit
terms. Also: anyone who has managed to find a reliable interpreter should,
where possible, use them in every meeting – this will improve understanding
even further.To develop effective communication
within a group working across cultures, it is important that people reflect
on their own cultural values, are able to scrutinize them from time to time,
and tune in to the mindset of others as well as enhance
their own abilities “see themselves as
others see them”.»