The EWC in UniCredit Group (187.000 employees in 35 countries)

The EWC in UniCredit Group (187.000 employees in 35 countries)

=> Establishment and organization of the EWC

1) Creation of the SNB in September 2006 (14 countries, 17 members including 2 Italians)

2) EWC Establishment Agreement signed on 26 January 2007 by UniCredit and SNB, with the assistance of FBE-company side- and UNI Finance -SNB side.

3) Establishment of EWC in September 2007 (44 members from 27 countries – 6 in Italy) with the election of Andrea Bonansea as chairman, and the appointment of the Select Committee, formed by 7 members: 1 Polish, 1 Austrian, 2 Germans, 3 Italians

The work in these two years has been addressed along three lines:

A) Training of members of EWC, as provided by the Agreement:, with two 3-days long workshops held in Turin in the spring of 2008, with the aim of mutual understanding, fine tuning the future work’s rules, learning the experiences of different EWCs, the European social legislation, Industrial Relations in West and East Europe. Representatives of other EWCs, UNI Finance FBE and experts from outside the Group (e.g. Professor Tiziano Treu, former Italian labour minister) took part in those seminars.

B) Ordinary activity concerning the employment and evolution of Group’s structure, the divisional model, the consolidated financial statements and the social one, corporate restructuring, the internal climate surveys, outsourcing, business plans, cross-border mergers, top managers’ compensation and, in general, the remuneration policy, the performance of the market, the recent financial crisis and so on. In particular, during two years of activity there have taken place:
– 4 meetings of the EWC Plenum of three days each with the participation of the top management team (CEO, deputy CEO, CFO and other senior executives responsible for different areas of the Group.
– 10 meetings of the Select Committee lasting 1/2 days each, with the participation of the CEO or the Chief of Human Resources and , time by time, the Top Manages involved in the specific topics under discussion. In some cases the meetings were opened to the EWC representatives from the countries impacted by restructuring.
Also from the beginning of the markets’ crisis o (September 2008) there have been 6 meetings (one plenary meeting and four Select Committee’s meetings; during these meetings the market conditions, the Group situations , the actions planned, the Divisions’ commercial actions, the trend of UniCredit share, have been discusses along with the CEO and the top management. In these meetings the EWC asked for three initiatives:
fairness in the sacrifices by reducing the compensation of managers and no stop to the local negotiation on salaries; to the first request the Group answered by cutting bonuses to the first 400 top managers, in addition to the CEO ones. Moreover the budget in incentive system were also strongly reduced. The negotiation on salaries was developed in almost all the countries, through local collective bargaining, also in Poland, Check Republic, Slovakia, Rumenia.
no collectives lay-off; request obtained: the occupational reduction was managed everywhere through agreements with the trade unions using retirement, advanced retirement funds and incentivated voluntary exits. In these last month there has been apply no lay-off in countries like Ukraine and Hungary, heavy impacted by the crisis. The staff downsizing in Est Europe countries will be developed through a partial turn over stop. Nowadays continues the consultation about the ultimate stop of some activities and, accordingly, the branches to be closed in France, Greece, Spain (150 workers involved)

Strengthening of industrial relations both locally and at central level: the request has generally succeeded at the local level even in countries with poor industrial relations (e.g. Poland) and at central level with the intensification of the EWC meetings and the definition of common unique rules about employees’ managing (Joint Declarations)
A large part of these meetings were also attended by two experts from UNI Finance.
Reports of these meetings have been prepared by the committee or by the president (sometimes jointly with the company) and distributed among all employees of the Group through the trade union and the company web portal.

C) Dissemination of best practices and definition of common standards for all workers in the group regardless of country of origin, through the signing of joint declarations between the EWC and UniCredit Group about “training and professional development” and “equal opportunities and non discrimination”. These statements were developed by 2 special joint commissions including EWC members and Company executives from different countries: they worked together for several months. The declaration on training and professional development was signed in last December, the Declaration on equal opportunities and non-discrimination will be signed during the forthcoming meeting of the EWC on 13/14/15 May.

=> The work’s plan for the coming months

Still with the aim of dissemination of best practices and definition of common standards for all employees, the Select Committee of the EWC, during its meeting on April 27th and 278th , held together with UNI Finance Responsible for Europe, set the target of signing , within the present year, a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) on the rights of employees and trade unions, that will be valid for all countries where UniCredit Group operates.
The delegation for the negotiation shall be settled by the Select Committee of the EWC and UNI Finance. The company has already given its willingness to open this discussion with the assistance of the FBE.
The GFA will be signed by four entities: UniCredit Group, the EWC, FBE and UNI Finance and it would be the first one for an huge European banking group and the second one in Italy ( at the moment similar agreements were signed only by large international industrial groups -german and french ones- and a single bank in Europe: Danske Bank).
The negotiation’s platform will be prepared jointly by the Select Committee of the EWC and UNI Finance in the next weeks and discussed in a meeting scheduled for September 22ns with the participation of the Select Committee, UNI Finance and the representatives of all the European trade unions in UniCredit Group.
During this meeting we will also discuss how to strengthen trade union presence in the Group, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Andrea Bonansea
Member of the EWC Select Committee in UniCredit Group
16 May 2009

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