SAP Case: EU Court of Justice in favour of trade unions


In a former article we referred to the open letter of the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL), he Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) in Social Europe. Read the full article here in English and in German.

The legal question under review to the ECJ: can the national legislature make the participation of trade union representatives on a supervisory board mandatory, even if a national public limited company is converted into an SE?

The Federal Labour Court agreed that the agreement between the special negotiation body and the company stating that the independent ballot for trade union representatives could be abolished is null and void.

The German government as well as the European Commission supported the trade unions´ position in the proceedings before the ECJ.

Opinion of the Court

In his opinion, the Advocate General stated: "the agreement on employee involvement in an SE created by way of transformation must provide for a separate ballot for the election, to employee representatives’ posts within the Supervisory Board, of a certain proportion of candidates put forward by the trade unions, where that specific requirement is provided for and mandated by the national law applicable to the company to be transformed.”