Deutschland AG rethinks workers’ role in management

ONE HUNDRED years ago, on January 13th 1920, thousands took to the streets of Berlin, waving red flags and chanting slogans demanding more power for workers as lawmakers in the Reichstag debated a bill on works councils. Placards called, in Gothic script, for volle Mitbestimmung. The “full co-determination” the protesters desired amounted to nothing short of an equal say for workers and bosses in company management. The security police killed 42 and injured more than 100 in the young Weimar Republic’s bloodiest episode to date. Friedrich Ebert, the president, declared a state of emergency.

In the past century German bosses, long opposed to the idea, have made their peace with it. Co-determination has become a defining feature of German capitalism. And an appealing one, across the West’s political spectrum. France’s centrist president, Emmanuel Macron, mutters about wanting more of it. Theresa May set up a commission to look into how it might work in Britain while she was the Conservative prime minister. Most volubly, Elizabeth Warren, a progressive senator from Massachusetts vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, has a bill that would, among other things, reserve 40% of board seats of companies with revenues over $1bn for workers’ representatives. Many Americans wouldn’t mind; Civic Analytics, a data...

via Business Feeds

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