Sunday, December 8, 2013

Worker Rights- Germany's Co-Determination

Germany's Co-Determination system came to my attention a few years ago, but somehow I wasn't able to grasp its significance.  However, as events have transpired over the years, my interest keeps returning to Spain's Mondragon Co-op complex, Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, the superior distribution of income in the Northern European countries, and the inequalities elsewhere, especially the US, well, now.  Oh, and then there's China, not to mention Japan, South Korea, India, Brazil, and elsewhere, each with their powerful role to play.
      I wanted to find a historical article on Germany's situation, and found an article in a UK journal article apparently from 1998 which claimed to have found scant details.  Then I turned up an article coming from Germany with some important specifics.  Hmm, US dog-eat-employees "free markets," or real social democracy and labor human rights.  Let me think a minute.  Well, yeah, that sounds about right.
     Finally, I found two EU sites, one about worker participation and the other about labor news.

Co-determination: the secret history of workers' control?

Christopher Winch

One key aspect in Germany’s economic success is Mitbestimmung, or ‘co-determination’. This is a system of corporate governance and labour relations very similar to the one that the Bullock Report recommended, although without any explicit reference to Germany. At the time, the Bevin Society argued that the Bullock recommendations of one-third employer, one third employee and one third from nominees determined by the first two groups (the 2x + y’ formula), would lead to higher productivity and greater competitiveness and that this would result from the greater orientation towards production of a workforce holding a real stake in the company. ....

Rebecca Page

Co-determination in Germany –

A Beginner’s Guide
The word “co-determination”, or “Mitbestimmung” in German, is commonly heard outside of Germany but
it’s actual meaning is often unclear. What it actually refers to, is a concept for employee consultation and
participation (in certain cases) in company decisions at both establishment and company/group level within
private sector companies in Germany. This co-determination concept has a long history – dating back
originally to the 1920s – and is today regulated by a number of detailed laws.....
 Thanks to the Boeckler Foundation, I found this EU site-

More than 1,000 active EWCs and counting – News from the EWC Database

The ETUI’s database of EWCs currently records 1,039 active EWCs in 962 multinational companies. The highest number of EWCs has been established based on the German (351), French (260), British (186) and Belgian (179) law. Since the entry into force of the recast EWC Directive 2009/38/EC, the pace of establishment of new EWCs seems to be increasing steadily: at least 58 negotiations are known to be currently underway, and the sectoral European trade union federations report that more initiatives to open negotiations are in the pipeline.

Interim report on 2013 bargaining round

The Institute of Economic and Social Research has published an interim report on Germany’s 2013 round of collective bargaining. The study evaluates collective agreements concluded in the first half of 2013, affecting about 45% of all workers covered by such agreements – around 8.7 million employees, 1.2 million of them in eastern Germany. The average annual increase in collectively agreed wages and salaries will be 2.8% in 2013, slightly above the average of 2.7% in 2012.






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