Author: Henk Dejonckheere
In this contribution, different elements which clarify the influence of the four yearly social elections on workers'participation are brought together. The author explains that representatives of only two advisory bodies on company level are elected. Nevertheless the social elections have an effect on a broader scale. The elections play a part in the protection of representatives in the trade union delegation, a third representative body on company level. Furthermore the elections can affect the relations which are situated above the company level (relations inside a trade union, between different trade unions and possibly hetween trade unions and the world of politics). Moreover a growing package of powers is granted to the workers' representatives. There is however an important difference between the social and the political elections. Political elections can cause a genuine change of power, social elections on the other hand can never change the postwar basic compromise: the employer preserves most of the decision power.
The author outlines furthermore the battle necks of this participation mechanism. The most important bottleneck certainly is the low turn out of candidates for the social elections. For the first time this problem is analysed sectoraly over a longer period of time. It is concluded that there are great differences not only between the economic sectors and the non-economic sectors, but also between the economic sectors themselves. The author also indicates that the decline of active participation in the economic sector since 1975 is mainly situated in seven sectors, which deliver altogether 60% of the mandates in the profit sector. Finally the author touches upon two more bottlenecks, which are already discussed before but which remain nevertheless very important: the low presence of women as candidates and likewise in the distribution of seats, furthermore the relatively great amount of invalid votes in the electoral colleges of workers and young people.
How to Cite: Dejonckheere, H. (1995) “De sociale verkiezingen : betekenis en knelpunten van een inspraakmechanisme”, Res Publica. 37(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/rp.v37i1.18692