Between 2019-2020, the Malta Employers’ Association (MEA) in collaboration with General Workers Union (GWU) have been part of an EU project entitled ‘Upper Level – Joint Social Commitment – as the key to Information and Consultation, Participation and their challenges’.
The project has been lead by Sindicato das Indústrias Metalúrgicas e Afins (SIMA), in collaboration with other employers’ associations and trade unions from all over Europe – Hungary, Macedonia, Albania, Portugal, Turkey, North Montenegro, Bulgaria, Austria, Slovenia and Malta – with the aim of sharing knowledge and expertise on Information & Consultation processes in the participating countries – the challenges and best practices, legislation, role of social dialogue and collective bargaining, etc.
The first activity of the project has been the collection of data on the Information and Consultation processes from all participating countries. This has been done through a questionnaire which has been distributed amongst the partners. Employers’ associations explained legislation and employers’ views, while trade unions obtained information from workers and trade unionists by distributing a survey. Information collected has been discussed in local workshops held in every participating country. The workshop of Malta was held in July 2019, with representatives of SIMA, GWU and MEA – agenda attached. The local partners have also invited employers, workers and trade unionists to discuss issues related to Information and Consultation, Employees’ Participation, New Forms of Work and Transnational Agreements.
Workshop in Malta, July 2019
Workshops in participating countries 2019-2020
Through local workshops, Sindicato das Indústrias Metalúrgicas e Afins (SIMA) had the opportunity of visiting and interviewing company representatives to obtain further information on the topic discussed:
Some interviews can be viewed here:
- Role of collective bargaining as a toll for the workers’ rights By Zoran Vujovic – Concrete actions – President AMUS – Serbia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA3Cqlwy1bA
- Information and Consultation at Fortaco (Estonia), trade unions point of view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1spoZ2jxSsA
- Challenges for Information and Consultation at Montenegro for the future by Filip Lazovic – Montenegrin Employers’ Federation – Montenegro https://youtu.be/_hZvm25paq0
- Vasco Miranda- Faurecia – Answers to the question – Would you be in favour of profit sharing? Why?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIndTU8T_-4
3 international regional meetings were held throughout the project to formulate active and wide debates, discussions and contributions. Malta has participated in the one organised in Turkey, in January 2020 – agenda attached.
Transnational meeting in Turkey 2020
With the break of the pandemic, all meetings were transferred online. We have taken this opportunity to increase the number of activities related to Information and Consultation by holding several meetings to see how companies in different countries are informing and consulting with their workers on issues being raised by COVID-19. Employers’ representatives kept each other informed of the grants being provided by government, social dialogue at national level and information sharing with members. Trade unions raised issues that workers are facing due to the pandemic – lack of income, forces leave, mental health, and the important roles of company representatives.
ZOOM meetings 2020
The project was finalised in November 2020 by a Final Conference, held both virtually through ZOOM and in presence in Lisbon, Portugal. The agenda of the conference can be found here.
Final Conference in Lisbon Portugal, November 2020
Some of the presentations delivered can be viewed here:
- Bernard Daly – Unite – Ireland – Role of Financial Participation in time of COVID 19 – Restrict Metting (Hybrid) 24 of October 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhU4esQiVvw
- Anders Andersson – Nordic-In Officer – Company Policy – The role of social dialogue in the Nordic Countries – the importance of collective bargaining https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJr0Cbu0Dak
- Dra Ana Oliveira Human Resources Director at HITACHI Automative Systems Ltd – The role of Employees’ Information and Consultation at HITACHI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8dwqxDUiPQ
The conclusions of the project will be used to assist the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021, that will also be targeting this subject by discussing it through the Pillar of Social Rights. National Agreements are being drafted by employers’ association and trade unions, showing the direction of the social partners in Information and Consultation process – what is being achieved, challenges being met, positions, etc. Proposals presented will assist the EU Commission and Council of the EU to continue building on the Directives in existence.