The Chattanooga, Tennessee VW plant is considering an employee’s Works Council. Enemies of the idea are branding the Works Council a socialistic investment killer. Works Councils are not common in America; they are the norm in Germany. What are they, and why do German factories have them while American factories do not?
A Works Council’s strives to achieve maximum collaboration between executives and workers by daily sharing management decisions. They make German factories more efficient. They are commonly created with Union input. Is it the redistribution of wealth that diehard capitalists detest? It definitely tends to seek real living wages and benefits for workers. That accomplished, it can indeed moderately lower the incomes of top management and their investors.
Works Councils provide workers some shared control of their work experience. It acknowledges that workers are vital to a factory and to an economy. It raises workers from mute laborers to management partners of factories. It attempts to provide factory workers more security in their jobs. It is a step toward helping factory workers remain persons, not just disposable gears.
It is a concrete move toward reducing income inequality: toward re-humanizing America’s increasingly digital attitude of people being secondary to technology. It’s for people who care more about people than about profits at any cost to people. Contrarily, for managers and investors who do care more about their personal incomes than the financial paralysis of working people, it is not the thick icing on the cake they may prefer.