On 14 December 2015, EFFAT took part in the final signing of the agreement establishing the Avril Group European Works Council (EWC). The Group employs more than 8,000 workers worldwide, more than a third of them outside its native France. The Group undertakes industrial and financial operations in various sectors, including human nutrition, animal nutrition, product expertise, renewable energies and chemistry.
EFFAT has coordinated the negotiations in its role as an expert appointed by the Special Negotiating Body (SNB) comprising employee representatives nominated in the different EU Member States where the company operates (France, Belgium, Romania, Poland and Germany). The SNB delegation was also made up of members affiliated to EFFAT member organisations FGA-CFDT and CGT-FO (France), NGG (Germany), Solidarność (Poland), LBC-CNE (Belgium) and Speranţa and CERES (Romania).
Under the terms of this agreement, the European Works Council will consist of:
- the CEO of Avril SCA
- three ex-officio members chosen by the CEO to assist him or her, who however have no voting rights;
- one or more Group managers if their presence is deemed necessary by the Chairman; these however do not have voting rights or consultative powers, and the number of these on the management side must not exceed the number of employee representatives;
- employee representatives appointed by national trade unions based on the workforce totals in each country: Germany (1), Belgium (1), France (6), the UK (1), Poland (1) and Romania (2).
Full members of the European Works Council and their substitutes will be appointed for a period of four years. Substitutes will also be entitled to attend the EWC meetings and receive training and time credit.
In addition, under the agreement observers may be appointed to represent countries outside the European Union where the Group has one or more sites employing more than 500 people, as will for example be the case for Morocco in the first year of operation.
There will be at least three Select Committee meetings (one in person and two conference calls) and one plenary meeting each year.
Enrico Somaglia, who has been appointed as an expert by the SNB, commented on the agreement: "Although EFFAT only joined the negotiations when they were already under way, we can truly say that thanks to the cooperation of our member organisations, we were ultimately able to sign a highly satisfactory agreement that goes far beyond the legal requirements of the directive. I am sure this text will provide a basis for very constructive and positive work to be carried out in the Avril Group EWC."