Codetermination

2628 Words11 Pages
Abstract Most children in the United States learn about US labor unions in school, in either Social Studies or History. As students, we are taught that the unions were born out of the unfair treatment of laborers by management. Many of the unions were successful in their fight to increase wages, and improve working conditions. However, as with all things, there are also adverse effects created by these unions, chief among them is the strike? While this weapon has an unwanted effect on management, the effect on its member's financial wellbeing can be harmful. On the other hand, our European counterparts have adopted something they call Codetermination. The method and results of this paper is to discuss codetermination, discover its origins, its architecture, and close with whether or not codetermination could exist within the United States. Codetermination 3 Codetermination (Mitbestimmung) While I do not know the statistics, I would be willing to bet that for the most part, Americans can describe the purpose of a labor union. They understand that the purpose of such a union is to protect the rights of the worker. Most of them heard of the union in school or though some type of media outlet, and can name the pros and cons for having a union. However, it is a good possibility that most of these people are not represented by a labor union. Union membership peaked at 17 million members; however, by 2002 membership has fallen by almost half to 8.8 million members. In today's economics, unions rely on government more than any other entity to sustain its existence, and it can be said that there are those in government that rely heavily upon unions to keep their office. However, the unions in... ... middle of paper ... ...agreements negotiated by unions. These differing levels of union membership and coverage under union-negotiated contracts are products of differing individual philosophies, cultures, and economic circumstances and experiences, which are unlikely to support statutory changes in the U.S. (p. 15). In conclusion, while it would be nice for many U.S. workers to participate in codetermination, it does not appear that it will become a reality anytime soon. The American work force has to adopt the philosophies, ideologies, political, or social orientation of the European labor movement to secure any possibility of U.S. labor law reform. However, it is unlikely that these changes will happen, so the European model of codetermination is not likely to take root in the U.S. However, in an altered form, it could manifest itself into the fabric of the U.S. work force.
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