Over the last couple of weeks, I have supported and trained many different European Works Councils across different businesses, both in their internal meetings as well as in meetings with management. I have had numerous discussions about issues that really affect employee morale. Amongst others, we discussed workloads and work stress, the impact of inflation on salaries, fair wage and recruitment policies, and the lack of company communication about strategies and decisions affecting employees. One special EWC meeting I would like to highlight. It’s the Alcoa European Works Council that finally got to visit the San Ciprian site.
There was a lot of respect for the San Ciprian workers that challenged Central Management’s intention to close the Aluminum smelter and lay off more than 500 workers. They successfully objected and managed to obtain broad support from the local and national government, national and international trade unions, and the EWC, with the positive outcome that Alcoa is now investing in renewable energy and is preparing to restart the smelter in 2024.
Overall, we have had good and fruitful discussions between management and the employee representatives. Having met a lot of enthusiastic (new) members and management with the willingness to bring their representative role to the next level. It’s important for both sides to work together and bring employee engagement to the next level, and I am proud to be able to contribute to this journey.