Transnational company agreements are concluded by one or more representatives of a company or a group of companies on the one hand, and one or more workers’ organisations on the other. They cover working and employment conditions and/or relations between employers and workers or their representatives.
Indeed, the internationalisation of company organisation, mergers and take-overs, the emergence of European companies, the increasing mobility of the factors of production and the ever more transnational scale of restructuring operations bring with them a growing need for transnational negotiation within firms.
Against the backdrop of new approaches to dialogue and corporate social responsibility, companies and workers’ representatives have begun agreeing texts in various forms, drawn up jointly for application in more than one Member State.
These initiatives help to anticipate cross-border employment developments, launch flanking measures for restructuring and manage human resources in transnational companies.
However, the rapid development of transnational negotiations since 2000 already concerned nearly 7.5 million workers worldwide in 2008, raising some fundamental practical, legal and political questions for the social actors and the European Union. These issues relate to the discrepancy between the transnational scope of the texts concluded and national norms and references.
The EU supports the development of transnational company agreements through exchanges of experience, financial support, monitoring and studies. An expert group has been set up by the Commission with that aim.
Various reports and studies are available.