By Peter Scherrer – It is, in my view, more necessary now than ever before to put the fight for more democracy at work on the political agenda. But at the same time, it is an issue to which neither the general public nor the EU political élite pays much, if any, attention, even though it is of great importance for millions of working people. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), at its Executive Committee meeting this week, went ahead in that spirit and adopted the strategy.
ETUC members are deeply convinced that a European approach to democracy at work can directly improve working life, collective labor rights and the concrete participation of workers in society and the economy.
The performance of EU Member States like Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Austria demonstrates that extending workers’ participation rights in companies and in administration is not an obstacle to a productive and profitable economy.
Many EU member countries have developed fair rights to information and consultation and a significant number have workers’ representation on company boards. The active involvement of trade unionists and workers’ representatives contributes to economic success and employment stability.
A glance at the current situation shows that democracy at work is being eroded by e.g. increasing centralization of company decision-making in all areas and increased concealment of real ownership etc. This widening gap could be partly closed by European legislation on workers’ participation.
But a huge danger to the options for more democratic labor/industrial relations comes from the rapid growth in the proportion of ‘digital’ workers and employees in the so-called sharing economy. more>