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Great Britain: fresh decision on European Works Councils against the backdrop of Verizon’s transfer of its representative agent to Ireland and the removal of UK representatives
Planet Labor, 19 January 2021, n°12318 - www.planetlabor.com

Is this the final episode in the Verizon European Works Council (EWC) saga? Barring a reversal on appeal, it would appear that despite its determined activism, the Verizon EWC (c.f. articles No.12166 and No.11716), will no longer be able to take legal action. A CAC* decision published on 18 January (here) has stated that the agreement instituting the EWC had expired on 19 October 2020 and hence the committee could no longer take legal action. The reason for the CAC decision relies on the fact that the provisions of the EWC agreement are not clearly enough formulated to infer that it would remain in force beyond its scheduled expiry date, should no agreement have been reached regarding a re-evaluation of the EWC instituting charter and the need to re-negotiate on an EWC. Dominating the backdrop is the Brexit situation, which saw the American telecommunications take advantage of the EWC’s upcoming expiration to transfer its relevant representative agent to Ireland, as well as the absence of any agreement placing the future European EWC under Irish subsidiary requirements. While the Verizon European Works Council no longer has the capacity to act, at the end of the CAC ruling the committee did cautiously refer to the fact that nothing stood in the way for a legal challenge over the consequences of the agreement’s expiration (perhaps the automatic application of Irish subsidiary requirements?), including the dispute’s other hotly contested issue where UK employees are excluded from the EWC.

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