Identity-Building Processes in European Works Councils
Chapter 7: Conclusion
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The central problematic in this study was that of the construction of Europe as a space for perception, experience and cooperation on the part of members of EWCs. Is Europe a relevant point of reference for employee interest representation at corporate level? Has a transformation taken place in the categories in which this is thought about? This presupposes changed structures of consciousness and a changed conception of those who are deemed to belong, of group identity, of how one should behave in relation to others, and what binds people together. The nature and intensity of this experience of the European space is manifested in a readiness and capacity for solidarity – that is, for cooperation and mutual support aimed at developing a strategy for representation that is more effective for all.
We relate solidarity to the behaviour of EWC members and in particular to members of the steering committee. This is influenced by their assessment of the scope and limits of solidarity on the part of workforces and their local representatives, but is not determined by it. Workforce solidarity consists in making perceptible sacrifices for employees in other national operations, as well as participation in protest and strike actions aimed at supporting them. Unquestionably, both these theatres of solidarity are closely related. However, in our view, one should distinguish that type of solidarity between EWC members that is needed to constitute an EWC into a body with a capacity for...
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