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Employee Participation in the European Company: Implications for the Greek Industrial Relations System

Koutroukis, Theodore (2008): Employee Participation in the European Company: Implications for the Greek Industrial Relations System. Published in:

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The need for social cohesion and an ability to motivate workers has resulted in several European Union (EU) directives concerning employee participation within European enterprises. The adoption of EU directive 2001/86/EC, which deals with worker involvement in European Companies, will have several implications for the European industrial relations system, as well as for national systems. It is widely known that worker participation in Greece has not engendered a significant number of best practices for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include the historical background of the Greek industrial relations system; the considerable unwillingness of social partners to participate in procedures of bipartite cooperation; and, finally, the political factionalism within trade unions. Nevertheless, over the last decade, the EU has moved worker participation into the mainstream through adopting three new directives: 1. European Works Councils (1994); 2. Worker involvement in the European Company (2001); and, 3. The national framework on employee information and consultation (2002). If information, consultation and participation would be introduced and made functional in European Companies, it would diffuse such participatory practices in national industrial relations systems as a whole. The aim of this chapter will be to examine if the European Company Directive will aid in enforcing the dynamics of worker participation in Greece. Moreover, it will test the research hypothesis of whether or not the European Company Statute would improve labour-management relations in Greece, as well as disseminate participatory institutions in additional workplaces (apart from the subsidiaries of European companies). Furthermore, it will examine the attitudes of social partners.

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