2021 – the Year for More Democracy at Work

A key democratic feature to shape the future

The year of Democracy at Work has now officially started. Please find below the actions until the end of June. We will keep you posted on this website with further updates and details.

Democracy at work is a key democratic feature to shape the future. The Green Deal, the Recovery Plan from Covid-19, the new Industrial Strategy and Digitalisation will only work effectively with participation of workers as citizens at their workplaces through Works Councils, EWCs, board-level representation as well as trade unions. Enhancing Workers’ participation and trade union rights in resilient and sustainable companies and public workplaces provides the best perspectives for decent livelihood of workers and social and environmental well-being in their homes and regions.

The planning from April – June
1 April: Webinar on the impacts of the Brexit Deal on EWCs

The new EU – UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement opens a lot of questions, especially for UK-based EWCs under UK domestic law. The workshop examined the non-regression clause and its impact for EWCs and discussed the role of trade unions to defend the rights of EWCs after Brexit. Dr. René Repasi argued during the seminar: “There are good arguments that there is a duty for the EU to uphold EWCs that lose their right of existence due to the withdrawal of the UK.

Joint European Trade Union Federations’ Recommendations to EWC/SE Coordinators and worker representatives in SNBs, EWCs and SEs for managing the impact of Brexit on multinational companies (available in CZDEENFRITNLSV)

9 April: Promoting Democracy at Work: Liaising with ETUC affiliates

On the invitation of ÖGB the strategy on the 2021 – the Year for More Democracy at Work was presented to its affiliates to better equip them to promote More Democracy at Work at sectoral and company levels.

14-15 April: Promoting Democracy at Work: Liaising with ETUC affiliates

The strategy of the Year for More Democracy at Work was addressed at the IndustriAll Executive Committee.

May: EU Policy in the making: European Parliament’s own initiative report on an EU Framework for information, consultation & participation

The ETUC is working closely with MEP Gabi Bischoff on a report on Democracy at work towards a European framework for employees' participation rights and the revision of the European Works Council Directive. We expect the report to stress the need for the European institutions to strengthen democracy at work.

7 May: EU Social Summit in Porto: What about Democracy at Work?

The European Pillar of Social Rights’ Action Plan misses key actions regards to its Principle 8 on the involvement of workers. We cannot find any schemes to better protect workers in the event of restructuring processes, in particular exacerbated by the pandemic. Democracy at work is a strong antidote to inequality and should be strengthened by concrete and ambitious actions. Loopholes in EU legislation should be addressed for example on European Works Council and information, consultation and participation of workers. The ETUC is on the offensive to remind politicians that Democracy at Work should be a key priority of the Commission’s action plan.

Worker advocates call for more ‘democracy at work’ ahead of Porto Summit

ETUC position on the Assessment of the Action Plan implementing the EPSR + Roadmap to the EU Social Summit in Porto.

9 May: Democracy at Work at the Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe offers an opportunity to links the debate on the future of work with the one on the future of the EU and strengthening democracy in Europe. The question of just transitions will also be a key subject of the citizens' debate at the Conference for the Future of Europe.

Trade unions and worker representatives are the democratic expression of the voice of workers at work.

Democracy at work matters, today more than ever, to involve workers in decision making processes:

  • to guarantee decent wages, safe and healthy working conditions, data protection and gender equality and
  • to defend and promote workers’ and trade union rights in supply chains and in the platform economy.

Democracy at work is the strongest antidote to inequality.

Workers’ information, consultation and participation in decision processes is the solution for more social justice, more sustainability and responsible businesses.

More democracy at work is an indispensable feature to implement recovery plans successfully and design a more promising future for workers.

It is a decisive factor to support economic and social recovery that leaves no worker behind.

19 May: Promoting Democracy at Work”: Liaising with ETUI GoodCorp network on Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

The European Commission has recently drafted a proposal on Corporate Sustainability Reporting directive. The ETUC calls for more ambitious reporting on sustainability. The ETUC will liaise with GoodCorp network and discuss how to further integrate workers’ involvement into the Directive.

June: Webinar on the European Commission’s Proposal on Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and Responsible Business Conduct Directive.

Ahead of the publication of the draft proposal on Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and Responsible Business Conduct in June, the ETUC is mobilising its affiliates to be prepared for a thorough assessment of the proposal and further actions. The ETUC will further join forces with NGOs on the basis of the good and successful cooperation to push forward ETUC demands in particular in the forthcoming trilogue.

ETUC Position for a European directive on mandatory Human Rights due diligence and responsible business conduct.

7 June: Zukunft der Mitbestimmung - Hans-Böckler Foundation online event on Board-level representation

Further information will follow soon.

8 June: Webinar on the Transposition of the Digital Tools Directive

The transposition period of the 2019 Directive on Digital Tools and Processes in Company Law (Digital Tools Directive) is ongoing. During this workshop we will discuss transparency issues in the Directive, the gatekeeper’s role and the role of the EU in fighting cross-border corporate abuse. The webinar will be an opportunity to present the ETUC guidelines to equip ETUC affiliates on how best to support the transpositions of the directive at national level.

14 - 18 June: Democracy at Work Mobilisation Week

The ETUC calls for a concrete follow-up of the EPSCO Council in October 2020, where ministers and Commissioner Schmit highlighted the importance of workers’ involvement in company decision-making to ensure sustainable and socially sound restructurings, exacerbated by the pandemic. The ETUC calls on the Portuguese Presidency to bring more concrete proposals on the table on how to better ensure more democracy at work.

Year for More Democracy at Work _Planning April - June
Year for More Democracy at Work _Planning April - June.pdf
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