1.5. Establishment of a Special Negotiating Body
1.5.0. Introduction on Starting a SNB
Starting a Special Negotiating Body (SNB)
Academic research as well as practical
experience has shown that trade union coordination is truly strategic right
from the very beginning of the procedure to set up the Special Negotiating
Bodies (SNBs) as well as in the ongoing work of EWCs once established,
moreover since the Directive clearly states that the responsibility to
provide the S.N.B. is in charge of the central management. (see
An “anti-union” central management will probably try to set up
the S.N.B. by anticipating both Uni and the
national unions concerned and appointing the individual SNB members among the
people who are not necessarily representative of the local employees, but are
“in the pocket” of the employer, in order to foster an anti-union attitude
within the SNB and orientate the negotiation in its favour. Such a risk can be prevented by anticipating the management i.e.
by immediately building a proper T.U.A. that is strong enough to find out and
elect the majority of the SNB members among genuine trade-union reps. At the
same time it’s even preferable to collect the relevant information for
opening the procedure through informal and reliable sources first, possibly
through the members of the T.U.A “in progress”, before addressing the central
management directly as per the Directive indications.
The S.N.B as a first result of a new T.U.A. (SEE ALSO 2.4.a)
A unionised and cohesive SNB (Special Negotiating Body) should be the result of a
timely preparation work to establish a T.U.A., i.e. a transnational
alliance among unions of represented countries in the transnational group.
Even though the initiative to establish an EWC comes
from the group Management, when he trade unions of the interested countries
are already in a network, they are able to have a hegemonic role in the
composition of the SNB.
be able to count on a structural
trade-unions coherent majority within the SNB (and then in the EWC)
an effective and strong draft of the EWC agreement that is intended to
reach, and establish a negotiation on OUR text and not on that which would surely be proposed by the company. The
text must be ready and agreed upon by the SNB before starting negotiations,
and must be brought to the negotiation table at its
Work for the best balance between an agile and well
representative SNB, within the spirit of the 2009/38 Directive which is to
avoid including countries where the too small number of employees can mean to
include no unionised rep in the SNB or even someone who is not even a genuine
employees reps, always bearing in mind the structural trade-union coherent
majority within the SNB as key.
The role of the UNI expert is essentially based on
a) Capacity to build transnational alliances thanks
to his network
b) Knowledge of the
Directive and its national transpositions, together with the capacity to
apply them efficiently and the attention to avoiding being involved in
negotiations that tend to lower standards
Responsibilities of UNI Europa and the affiliates
Responsibilities of UNI Europa
and the affiliates
The decision to start to work towards an EWC, and the necessary implementing steps, should be
taken by the relevant UNI Europa sector, in close cooperation with the
affiliates concerned, meeting the requirements of European legislation but
also working to the principles described in these Guidelines.
It is the responsibility of affiliates
concerned to inform the workforce of the company and to monitor SNB and EWC
elections in their country.
When an initiative to set up an SNB
comes from UNI Europa affiliates or from the workforce within the company and
is supported by UNI Europa affiliates, it is
essential that affiliates always contact and consult with UNI Europa before
starting any procedure.
The UNI Europa sector(s) responsible
will then contact all affiliates situated in the countries concerned.
This applies equally if the initiative
to start an SNB comes from the management side.
Steps towards setting up an SNB
Before the setting up of an SNB, the
relevant UNI Europa sector will (subject to agreement and capacity)
convene a trade
union coordination meeting with all potential members of the envisaged trade
The aim of such a trade union
coordination meeting is to:
• Enable the different actors to meet
and communicate with each other.
• Maximise trade union representation
in the SNB (including by supporting affiliates in coordinating elections of
• Gather information available.
• Reach an agreement on common
positions and steps to be taken.
• Identify possible conflicting
national interests and find solutions so there is no obstacle for the
The designation of SNB/EWC
The coordinator can be a staff of UNI
Europa or a trade union official of a UNI Europa affiliate acting with a UNI
The responsibility for designating the
SNB/EWC coordinator lies with UNI Europa. UNI Europa will ensure both the
transparency of the process of nomination and the acceptability of the
nominated person by the EWC.
Affiliates will be included in this
process, as the most important players in everyday SNB/EWC operations.
Affiliates’ role is to ensure that the selected coordinator has the necessary
profile and resources, and to inform UNI Europa if he/she is no longer able
to continue in this role.
In this situation, affiliates can
propose another person to take over the role.
Any proposed coordinator must be informed of what would be expected from them in
See note inserted in annex 2TNA
Information to European social partners on the start of an SNB
Information to European social
partners on the start of an SNB (via the procedure described in EWC directive
Article 5.2.c of EWC directive
2009/38/EG stipulates that "Central
management and local management and the competent European workers' and
employers' organisations shall be informed of the composition of the special
negotiating body and of the start of the negotiations".
The European Trade Union Confederation
(ETUC) and the European employer organization BusinessEurope
have agreed to each provide a single contact e-mail address in order to
ensure effective transmission of information from companies to the European
social partner organisations. The ETUC and
BusinessEurope are each
responsible for disseminating the information they receive in this way to the
competent sectoral social partner organisations. The ETUC has set up the
following e-mail address for this aim: email@example.com.
The ETUC is responsible for forwarding
the information it receives as appropriate to UNI Europa and the other
European Trade Union Federations. UNI Europa has created an email account
firstname.lastname@example.org for this purpose. It is the responsibility of UNI
Europa to ensure that the necessary contacts are made
with the relevant company representatives (employees as well as management).
UNI Europa follows the procedures
proposed by ETUC in Rules of Internal Procedure - Information of European
Social Partners of the start of EWC negotiation.
UNI Europa affiliates should monitor
in their countries whether the requirement to inform the ETUC and BusinessEurope is being complied
with by companies. As an additional safeguard, affiliates should notify UNI
Europa when they first become aware of the setting up of an SNB
Negative response from the
company’s management to an SNB request
In case of an outright negative
response to a request from the workforce for an SNB, affiliates should inform
the UNI Europa sector(s) concerned, so that a decision on coordinated action towards
the company can be jointly agreed. Affiliates should
also inform UNI Europa if the company’s management agrees to start the
procedure for the setting up of an SNB but is obviously trying to avoid or
even exclude trade union involvement..
Adequate steps should be coordinated
between UNI Europa and its affiliates.
1.5.c. The trend of
Go to 2.2.c Business accounting: use of the manual
fundamental to understand the trend of the group, first of all in terms of growth/decline, economic performance of
the various segments (geographical and/or business) of the Group
The study of
its evolution allows to assess the strategic decisions of the holding, in
acquisitions, develop/abandonment of strategic business areas
b) changes in
the level of company and/or financial integration
Go to 5.3.
Glossary annex business accounting
in particular E
importance of intercultural competence for EWCs
of intercultural competence for EWCs
Effective communication is one of the
crucial elements for a successful EWC. This does not happen automatically in
a multi-national group where people come from different traditions and
In a multi-cultural context, such as
in a EWC, the problems of communication are not just due to language barriers
but also due to the participants not having a shared understanding of values,
aims and the meaning of the EWC work.