Labour Research (July 2016)

European news

Unions maintain positions on councils

The results of the four-yearly elections for works councils and health and safety committees in Belgium have just been published — and they show little change in the relative position of the country’s three union confederations. 

As in 2012, the Christian CSC/ACV (Belgian unions have two names — one French, one Flemish) has the largest level of support, winning 55.85% of the works council seats, slightly down on the 56.14% it won four years earlier. 

Works councils must be elected in all companies (including those in the non-commercial sector), with at least 100 employees.

The socialist confederation FGTB/ABVV is again in second place with 33.80% of the seats (34.31% in 2012) and the liberal CGSLB/ACLVB once again occupies third place with 8.83%, although its results were an improvement on 2012 when it won 7.93% of the seats. 

The figures for the health and safety committees (which must be elected once there are 50 employees), are very similar, with the CSC/ACV winning 57.97% of seats, the FGTB/ABVV 33.58% and the CGSLB/ACLVB 8.45%.

Turnout in the elections, which took place over two weeks from 9 to 22 May, was 63.5% for works councils and 65.4% for health and safety committees. 

This figure was down on the just over 70% for both bodies four years earlier.

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