Prosegur EWC Agreement signed!
On Friday 15 November, 2013 workers representatives from the Special Negotiating Body and the management of Prosegur, the Spanish multinational company in the private security industry, signed a EWC agreement after nearly a year of negotiations.
Negotiations had already started in December 2012 and the workers’ representatives from Spain, France, Germany and Portugal have been assisted by UNI Europa and trade union officials throughout the process until the signing of the agreement in Madrid last Friday. The unions welcomed the end of the negotiating process and see the signing of the agreement as a positive sign for future dialogue with Prosegur. This is an important step forward in view of the internationalisation of the company and the need for transnational representation. UNI Property Services and Prosegur have been in conflict over human rights violations in South America. UNI and the participant unions are hopeful that this could signal an opening to resolve these conflicts.
Definitions and topics The agreement contains the precise definitions of information and consultation based on the Recast EWC European directive and confirms the transnational matters that are subject to information/consultation with the EWC. The unions are satisfied with the matters subject to discussion and also included collective redundancies, company sales, mergers and health and environmental policy to the company’s original draft proposal.
Members of the EWC The four countries where Prosegur is based are represented; Spain, Portugal, France and Germany, in line with Spanish legislation in proportion to the number of employees employed in each Member State. Spain has the most representatives (6) followed by Portugal (2), France and Germany who both have one each. This is subject to modification in the future in accordance between management and employees based on employee numbers in the member states. The members are appointed for a four-year renewable term.
Languages and training The agreement provides for simultaneous interpretation in the meetings as well as translation of all documents into the necessary languages. Costs of training will be covered by the company as well as those related to accommodation, travel, daily expenses (including those of the external expert) and communication/office materials. Where travel expenses have not already been met by the company, cash advances are foreseen.
Anna Harvey, Policy Officer for UNI Europa Property Services is very happy with this achievement. “The signing of a EWC Agreement with Prosegur is not only positive for Europe. I hope this “ripples” into what is happening in other parts of the world too. In light of the global campaign UNI Global Union Property Services is running with regards to the lack of respect for workers’ rights in South America, this “new beginning” in relations between UNI Europa and the company in the Spanish headquarters, has the potential to contribute both to improving industrial relations and the signing of a Global Framework Agreement between UNI Global Union and Prosegur. It is perhaps ambitious, however, I believe Prosegur has taken the right step in Europe today. Hopefully tomorrow it will continue in the right direction at a global level.”
Alice Dale, Head of Department for UNI Property Services said, “I too am pleased with this outcome and am hopeful that this is the beginning of efforts to resolve human rights violations in South America. A Global Agreement is the best way to ensure that workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are respected. We will continue to pursue all efforts at our disposal to ensure that these standards are met.”