Employee Involvement as a Tool to Promote Social Justice
This paper will argue for the positive effects of employee involvement, not only in connecting economic growth to human development as one of the key goals of social justice, but also in enhancing democracy through the empowerment of workers by involving them in decisions made on matters affecting the main areas of their working lives. The importance of the employees‟ voice, once seen as a shared value in the European Union, has now become one of the major targets of deregulation. Employee representation has increasingly been seen as ineffective instrument to increase competitiveness, despite the fact that the obligation of involvement follows from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Revised European Social Charter, making employee involvement a part of the legal framework of European democracy. Based on the current trends in economic policy, it is clear that social justice cannot be vested solely in the good will of governments, but shall be seen as a mutual interest of both state and economic actors, particularly employers and employees. I also take the liberty to argue that the right to be involved in decisions affecting one‟s employment should not be seen as a privilege of European citizens, especially in companies operating on a transnational scale who largely benefit from the cheap labor and low influential power of employees of their offshore plants. This paper will also examine whether the extension of the personal scope of EU Directives concerning participation could serve as a tool to involve employees in decision-making processes at multinational corporations.