UK staff shy of Euro works councils

UK staff are failing to make their voice heard through European works councils, a conference has heard.

Willy Coupar, director of the Involvement and Participation Association, told the Modernising Workplace Relations conference at Birkbeck College, London, last week that staff on the Continent are making the running in many works councils. He said, “They are more experienced, more articulate and have a grasp of the big picture.

“Many of their British colleagues lack the knowledge and confidence to contribute to strategy-level discussions.”

He added, “It is common to find discussions in works councils led by experienced Dutch, German or French trade unionists who are sufficiently fluent in English to debate key issues with management participants.

“UK members are typically younger and many lack experience of what it means to be a representative.

Coupar said the problem is most common in non-unionised UK companies.

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