UK stranded over councils

Ireland has withdrawn its opposition to the principle of consultative works
councils for all European companies, leaving the UK isolated.

The Irish government has informally told the British government of its
decision, Personnel Today has learned. At one time the potential blocking
minority comprised Germany, Denmark, Ireland and the UK. No single country can
veto the law.

Attention will turn now to the detail, which proposes that all private firms
– probably above a threshold of 50 staff – will have to consult their workforce
over significant changes such as mergers and redundancies.

Legislative details will include the level of sanctions facing firms that
fail to comply.

The European Parliament, which has to give its approval to new laws under
the Amsterdam Treaty, will push for tough sanctions.

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