A technology and mechanical engineering company PALFINGER is currently organizing the establishment of a European Works Council (EWC). During the first week of May 2022, 22 delegates from 16 countries met at PALFINGER in Salzburg, Austria.
After intensive discussions, an agreement was reached as the basis for establishing the EWC. "Especially in these challenging times, it is important to have competent and widely recognized discussion partners. I am pleased that in future, PALFINGER employees will speak with one voice throughout Europe," says a satisfied Andreas Klauser, CEO of PALFINGER.
Throughout this crucial step, PALFINGER received legal advice from Baker McKenzie Austria. Philipp Maier led the Firm's Vienna employment law team, which consisted of Silvia Samek and Andrea Haiden. In-house, the project was managed by Mateja Pepic, corporate legal counsel, and Roland Lechner, EMEA head of human resources.
"We are very pleased to have been able to support PALFINGER in such an important and forward-looking project," says Philipp Maier, partner and head of the Firm's Labor Law Practice Group. The legal challenge in establishing the European Works Council lay primarily in sending delegates from 16 different jurisdictions to the special negotiating body. Austrian laws had to be combined with the provisions of all countries involved. The reason for this was that the delegates' secondment process was governed by the respective national laws of the countries involved, even if Austrian law was primarily applicable to the establishment of the European Works Council.