This article analyses the establishment and subsequent meetings of the McDonald's European Works Council and raises a number of questions. Who is an `employee representative' for the purposes of the EU Directive? How are such representatives elected in practice and what roles do existing national sub-structures play? Can employee representatives adequately coordinate their roles in the absence of significant unionisation? The experience of the McDonald's EWC suggests that where workforces have low levels of unionisation and employers are opposed in principle to the prescribed arrangements, a non-union firm can frustrate even the limited aims of the Directive. Furthermore, legally underpinned national-level sub-structures, which are often assumed to make such European-level bodies accountable, may fail to do so in practice.
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