More democracy at work
We need actions at European level to safeguard and strengthen workers’ information, consultation and participation rights!
It means democratic involvement and participation of workers and oversight in their workplace. It is a founding European principle, anchored in fundamental rights to join a trade union, to represent and defend workers’ interests – the right to information, consultation and participation, about social dialogue & collective bargaining. Growing globalisation of exchange, exacerbated flexibilization of the labour markets and also the latest recessions have increasingly jeopardised these rights.
The ETUC is fighting for workers’ representatives to be informed and consulted, to have meaningful and timely discussions with management at all relevant levels and to be actively involved in the decision-making process of their companies or organisations before any important decisions are made, respecting EU rules and national provisions.
Workers & trade unions are keen actors of any undertaking. As such they are entitled to be informed & consulted about activities and economic and employment situations with the aim to strengthen workers’ working conditions and working environment.
Lessons learnt from both crises clearly show the importance of and the urgent need for initiatives to strengthen democracy at work and collective bargaining. Worker involvement and social dialogue are a necessity and have always proven to be key for a sustainable and long-term recovery.
During the 2008 financial crisis, businesses with stronger worker involvement cut far less jobs and performed better economically. During the corona pandemic, workers in companies with strong worker involvement faced fewer negative consequences from the crisis. Stronger involvement of workers within companies and public services directly improve working conditions, economic performances, labour rights and sustainability.
During the 2020 pandemic, worker involvement makes the difference as to securing safe workplaces while maintaining economic activities, to organise telework arrangements in containment times, to fight for socially acceptable restructuring when business restructure, layoff or shut down.
It’s unacceptable that some business still do not comply with workers and trade unions’ rights to be involved in strategic decision-making. It is time to put democracy at work on the political agenda to achieve its full potential. For a more social, inclusive and fair Europe!