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Meeting of the European Works Council of DB AG in London

Key topics discussed at the meeting of the European Works Council of Deutsche Bahn AG held from 05 to 07 March 2013 in London

This was the first meeting of the European Works Council to take place outside Germany since the EWC was first founded in 2005. The EWC meeting was held in the United Kingdom, the country in which the DB Group has the highest number of employees outside Germany.
Mac Urata of the International Transport Workers’ Federation and Sam Chapman, Deputy Chairperson of the EWC welcomed the EWC to London. 

Prior to the EWC meeting, meetings of the DB Schenker Rail and DB Arriva working groups took place, also in London. The DB Schenker Logistics working group had already convened in Krakow, Poland on 7/8 February 2013. The DB Schenker Rail working group elected Jörg Hensel, DB Schenker Rail Germany, as new spokesperson. The ARRIVA/ Regional Passenger Transport Working Group elected Jim Moran, DB Arriva UK, as new spokesperson. 

The key items presented by the speakers representing the management during the information and consultation session with Central Management involved a detailed presentation of DB Arriva and the results of the Group-wide Employee Survey. Other topics included the general, personnel and financial situation of the DB Group and recruitment in Europe. 

During the discussion of the Group-wide Employee Survey, the members of the EWC pointed out the need for follow-up measures also outside Germany. Some EWC members complained that they had not received sufficient information prior to the Employee Survey or that they had not received an evaluation of the results afterwards. On the whole, however, the EWC members reported that the Employee Survey had proceeded smoothly. 

The attendees complained about the insufficient information supplied to the EWC by Central Management with regard to timely information and consultation in connection with the purchase of new companies. They also criticised the inadequate provision of IT tools to some of the EWC members.
During the meeting with Central Management, the EWC also inquired about the moral responsibility of the DB Group when it did business in countries which did not respect human rights. One example of this was the Arab Emirates, where no trade unions are permitted and where the DB Group had recently submitted a bid in a tender procedure. 

As the European heads of HR at the DB Group were also meeting in London at the same time, the EWC Presiding Committee had the opportunity to present the EWC, its structure and its remit to the European HR managers. 

For the first time, the EWC also visited DB companies at the venue as part of the meeting. One group visited Marylebone Station and the Chiltern Railways depot in Wembley to obtain information about the working conditions of the employees who worked there. A second group visited the DB Arriva bus depot in London, where it had a meeting with management representatives.

The European Works Council of Deutsche Bahn AG currently has 47 members from 23 countries.

The next meeting of the EWC will be held in Potsdam,
14 – 16 October 2013.