On October 13, during the first meeting of GDF Suez’s EWC, recently created (see our dispatch No. 090489), the structure’s staff representatives elected a Belgian representative as secretary. His name is Robert Van Passen, CSC representative at Electrabel. In a communiqué published the same day, the CFDT French union declared that, “by electing a Belgian representative from Electrabel Belgium, the group’s staff representatives chose Europe” and added that this vote “shows much maturity among EWC members” and is “a first step towards better cooperation between the group’s European trade unions to build a common base to the group.” Mr. Passen won with a small majority (30 yes, 26 no and a few abstentions) against the French applicant (CGT). This is a substantial change in practice since, before the merger, the two businesses’ European structures were always run by French representatives – who represent nearly 40% of the current EWC.
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