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European Works Council for Eni Group workers

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Issues Addressed

  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold freedom of association & effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining

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Partnership Project

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Case Description

Eni has developed in Italy and abroad an advanced model for its relations with workers¡¦ representatives, based on transparency and participation.

Anticipating the implementation at the national level of the European Directive 94/45/CE dispositions on workers¡¦ information and consultation in companies operating in the European Union (EU), Eni established in 1995 the European Works Council (EWC) which, representing the Group¡¦s workers within the EU , reflects its international dimension and the growing share of local personnel (in 2003 the number of non-Italian employees reached 45% of the total).
The goal was to extend the dialogue and consultation with union representatives of the Group¡¦s workers within the EU framework and provide transnational information and consulting services for the workers to whom the EEC 94/95 is directed.

Eni and the EWC - made up of 31 members appointed to a three-year term - meet once a year. On this occasion the Council is informed and consulted on a number of issues concerning the ongoing development of the Group¡¦s activities: economic-financial situation; business and investment programs; state of employment and future prospects; significant changes in the Group¡¦s structure; training; introduction of new working methods or production processes; health and safety; environmental policies.

Annual plenary meetings are integrated by meetings between Eni and a Select Committee, established in 2001 to make information and consultation more effective. As a result, the EWC is regularly informed and consulted on the Company¡¦s life key institutional moments: presentation of Strategic Plans, final results, scenarios, investments.Since the results have been positive and reciprocally satisfying, Eni and workers¡¦ representatives confirmed their interest in consolidating the dialogue by renewing the agreement in 1998, 2001 and in 2004, and by implementing initiatives, such as :

- In 1996 the European Observatory for the Safety and Health of Workers was instituted to improve workplace health and safety and achieve a uniform level of protection for all of Eni¡¦s employees in the EU, thus becoming Europe¡¦s first body for comparing and evaluating preventive measures adopted within a single company. The activities of the Observatory, renewed as well in 2004, include: databanks on work-related accidents and illnesses; evaluation of legislation¡¦s development; study of instruments of analysis of workplaces with critical characteristics and research on investigation techniques to reduce injury rates; operating instruments to improve workplace health and safety conditions.

- In 2003, a web page was created on Eni¡¦s portal to disseminate the information concerning EWC activities to the Group¡¦s workers and to the general public as well as facilitate integration of workers from different countries and cultures.

- An experimental European project for life-long learning was conducted in 2003-2004 by Eni and the unions at the subsidiaries of the Refining&Marketing Division in 9 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Training, involving 140 people, aimed at promoting understanding, acceptance, development of cultural differences and appropriate behavior by individuals within multicultural organizations. The project contributed to strengthening the sense of belonging within the Group and to increasing the effectiveness of the EWC.



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