European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

Planet labour highlights EFFAT publications and EWC work


An Article by Marie Noelle, for Planet Labour

A truly comprehensive range of handbooks, guides, working tools have been prepared by the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, EFFAT and are being made available to its coordinators operating within EWCs and to employee representatives who spearhead union related activities within multinational companies.

A website for EFFAT affiliates, more than 120 EWCs from EFFAT sectors, and especially for specifically mandated EFFAT coordinators offers a real resource center with several handbooks on how to intervene during business restructuring, how to establish a communications network within an EWC, how to use the EWC as a lever and support union action, as well as practical guides on certain topics. “We wanted to give access to representatives and our coordinators to tools on social issues including youth unemployment, managing the older worker cohort, precarious work, sub-contracting, and stress. We want to see EWCs addressing and resolving these issues because they are European level political challenges and for this we believe the EWCs should have ample resources available to them,” Enrico Somaglia, EFFAT head of business policy, explained to Planet Labor.

EFFAT’s EWC portal holds several publications including:

  • A guidebook entitled ‘Enhancing EFFAT’s Role in European Works Councils and Transnational companies. Practical Guidelines for EWC Coordinators and Trade Union Officers’. The document was wholly written by the EFFAT secretariat and is complemented by links to online documents or to the EFFAT EWC portal where a whole range of documentation can be found including questionnaires, publications and an EWC agreement template.
  • An desktop research and working tool called: ‘Fostering the role of the EFFAT European Works Councils – taking an active role in managing stress and psychosocial risks’, which was drafted with the assistance of subject matter experts. This guide is the result of research commissioned by the EFFAT secretariat in a bid to take stock everything affecting work related stress levels. European employee representatives can read about work related stress and psychosocial risks, their causes, the symptoms, arguments and counter-arguments as well as concrete methods (specific indicators, questionnaires) so as to be equipped to bring the issue to the EWC. “We wanted a practical document and that is why this guide also includes some pages detailing the different steps and stages to follow. It is a real method that addresses the issue and ensures it is monitored and followed up,” added Enrico Somaglia.
  • An EWC agreement template. “We also wanted to design a template fore and EWC agreement that can be adapted to each business but which can serve as an example of what a ‘good’ EWC would be,” argued Enrico Somaglia.

Planet Labor, 14 December 2016, nº9973 –


EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.