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Democracy at work: when subsidiarity leads to inequality

Fig 4.23 Workforce-counting modalities in transnational institutions of worker representation


One worker, one vote?

The notion that every citizen’s voice should count equally is, of course, fundamental to democracy. Indeed, this principle was first brought into the trade union political discourse by the British trade unionist George Howell (1880).  Despite the wide variation in national systems of industrial relations across the EU, this principle still holds true forEuropean-level arrangements for democracy at work. However,it turns out that when different national systems of industrial relations are applied to determine membership of a single transnational institution, the principle of subsidiarity trumps that of equality. European Works Councils (EWCs) or SE works councils (SE-WCs) are transnational worker representation institutions introduced by the EU to give workers the ability to engage in company-level information and consultation on cross-border matters. In these transnational bodies, each national workforce is generally represented by one or more representatives: the allocation of seats among the different countries is usually done according to the relative size of each workforce. It stands to reason then, that in order to accurately determine the relative size of each workforce, the same method of calculating workforces should apply.

more information in  Benchmarking Working Europe 2019 - Chapter 4 Democracy at work

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Organisation du travail , Participation des travailleurs


Organisation du travail


Mehmet Koksal

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