Works Councils

A works council is a body which represents the employees of a business. Such bodies are common in Europe, where they are mandatory in several countries. We are in favour of introducing such councils in space settlements.

For the purpose of this post we define a business as any organization which employs people, regardless of they are commercial or non-profit organizations, and irrespective of their legal form [1].

We propose that works councils will be mandatory in any business employing more than 15 people. Further these councils will have the following rights:

  • deliberation
  • approval
  • advice
  • initiative

Deliberation is the right of the council to negotiate with the board about topics involving labour conditions and wages.

Approval means that certain decisions such as reorganizations have to be approved by the works council, before they could be implemented.

Advice is the right to be heard by the board about important issues, such as take-overs. Such advice is, however, not binding upon the board.

Initiative is the right of the council to make proposals to the board.

An additional function of the works council, which only applies to joint-stock companies, is to exercise the voting rights of employee-owned stocks.

In order to preserve the independence of the works council, we propose two measures:

  1. Works council should be elected by the work force, appointment by the board will be illegal;
  2. Members of works council cannot be fired without good cause and approval of a court.

An important benefit of a works council is that it gives a voice to employees who are not member of a trade union.

[1] Worker cooperatives will be excepted from this obligation.

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3 thoughts on “Works Councils”

    1. The scope of a works council is limited to the employees of one organization, while trade unions can bring workers of several organization together. Within the trade union workers of different businesses can learn from each other.

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