The German flight attendants' union UFO takes a positive view of the plans announced by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil on Saturday, which are intended to simplify the establishment of works councils. Among other things, the member of the government plans to tighten criminal law.
This should lead to the fact that works councils can also be initiated against the resistance of employers. In the past, for example, there was considerable resistance from management at SunExpress Germany in the Federal Republic of Germany. Legal means were also taken to prevent the establishment of an employee representative body. Ultimately, this is history because this carrier has finally ceased operations and is in liquidation.
"So far, many committed colleagues, especially in the small flight operations, have not dared to force the establishment of a works council. But also at the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings Discover, where we are currently supporting the establishment of a works council, the fear of being fired plays a central role in employment relationships that are often limited in time,” explains Daniel Kassa Mbuambi, CEO of UFO.
Heil plans to allow the judiciary to prosecute the disruption or obstruction of the founding of works councils as a criminal offense ex officio, even if there is suspicion. "The planned tightening of criminal law will help employees to exercise their right to set up a works council and, particularly in the case of airlines that have not previously been subject to tariffs, can help to take active employees out of the employer's line of fire," says Mbuambi.