Work Councils and VW

Dr. you have stated multiple times in the past regarding vw that the emissions scandal wouldn't have, or at least would have been far more unlikely to happen, if it were a cooperative, but VW, like many german companies, has a work council where labor has a seat at the boardroom table. I'd like your thoughts on this as it reflects on cooperatives as more socially and economically aware enterprises. (if you've covered this I'm sorry, I'm only just working thru the archives)

Official response from submitted

The problem with workers councils is that they are a minority part of those Boards and thus allow for all sorts of things to be done without the labor council members agreeing or even knowing. Then too, there are boards who have provided favors for workers council members to side with them against their own fellow-workers, etc. It was an important step to get the corporate boards to be required to include workers, etc., but it was just a step and well short of the kinds of changes that a fully-formed workers coop would entail.

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  • ABear Holhut
    followed this page 2017-06-08 11:33:11 -0400
  • Logan O'Hara
    commented 2017-06-07 16:34:24 -0400
    It should also be mentioned, in my opinion, that the Spanish co-ops, having far superior business practices (from a moral standpoint) than traditionally organized businesses in the region, should counterbalance this claim regardless. Cooperative organization does not rule out the possibility of immoral practices, it is important to remember that since they are part of the capitalist world economy, co-ops must still sacrifice themselves to capital. While their internal interests are unified, they are still in many ways at odds with the rest of society. They are still individual commodity producers, part of the anarchy of the market. All of this is, as said earlier, co-ops still work off of profit motive, but democratic structure tends to force co-ops to confront immoral practices more directly, making immoral practices less common, but still possible. Anyway, those are just my thoughts on the subject
  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-06-07 14:40:17 -0400
  • Lance parker
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-06-06 10:19:48 -0400