EZA at the 15th German Works Council Day 2018 in Bonn: Works councils in key socio-political function

The European Centre for Workers' Questions (EZA) was represented with an information booth at the 15th German Works Council Day which took place in November 2018 in Bonn. The motto of this year's meeting was "Shaping Change". The aim of the conference and info fair, which attracted more than 700 works council members from all over Germany, was the transfer of knowledge on specialist topics, the dissemination of proven solutions and active networking among the representatives of employee representatives.

The chairman of the commission "work of the future", Prof. Dr. Kerstin Jürgens, in her welcome address, considered works council members a key socio-political function. After all, together with the trade unions, they have a desire for action and activities that the state and its institutions are currently missing. Digital transformation and the spreading of social situations are the two most important challenges facing society today. To master them requires clear rights and standards of protection for every type of work.

In panel discussions with the chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) Reiner Hoffmann, Katja Mast, deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Anton Hofreiter, Group Chairman Alliance 90 / The Greens, Michael Theurer, Deputy FDP Group Chairman, Sahra Wagenknecht, leader of the Left Group, and Matthias Zimmer, chairman of the working group and social work of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, as well as Gregor Gysi, chairman of the European Left, and Peter Scherrer, deputy secretary general of the European Trade Union Confederation, agreed with the discussants that the co-determination standstill in Germany should be overcome strengthened and the generality of collective agreements must be facilitated. Employees should not always be considered a cost factor. Social rights should also be enforceable across Europe. Overall, more support for trade unions was desired through politics.

The German works council award in gold, for which more than 70 works councils had applied this year, was awarded to the project "Too few caregivers for too many patients - works councils mobilize for more personnel" of Helios Klinikum Salzgitter GmbH. The Audience Award went to the project "Change of business without works council - a no-go" of Sea Life GmbH Oberhausen. There were also special awards in the categories "Fair instead of precarious", "Job security", "Innovative works council work" and "Good work".

More information at http://www.betriebsraetetag.de/


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