staff representatives worried about social dialogue

According to an Ifop survey for the Syndex law firm, employee representatives fear an impoverishment of social dialogue following the establishment of the Social and Economic Council, which is just beginning.

Will the government's promised social dialogue in companies take place? According to the second progress report made in December by the evaluation committee of the Penicaud ordinances, the demonstration remains to be done. The main change in the 2017 reform is the regrouping of works councils, safety committees and working conditions and staff delegates into a single body called the Social and Economic Council. "A majority of companies approach the implementation of the CSE from an exclusively accounting angle, in an attempt to weaken the representation of employees"regretted the committee. This finding is shared by a large number of employee representatives, according to the survey conducted by Ifop for the cooperative law firm Syndex, which specializes in advising employee representative bodies.

Employees, first losers

73% of the 1,147 respondents have not yet switched to CSE, of which nearly half have already started negotiations. Their biggest fear is that their direction "Do not be open to dialogue". In contrast, only 31% note a listening concern. Representatives in the new SSCs are less likely to complain about an insufficient openness to the employer's dialogue during the negotiations, but it is still pointed by half of them, as the length of negotiations too short.

For the elected representatives, the first losers of the merger of the personnel bodies will be the employees, cited by 61% of the people questioned. For 44% of the respondents, it is the trade unions that will be harmed. And a third of the elected representatives put forward, in priority, the fact that the elected official himself will lose it personally. Three-quarters of those surveyed believe that the management of their company will be the big winner. In any case in the short term ...

Boomerang effect

Signals warn of the possibility of an impoverishment of the social dialogue, with the risk of a boomerang effect for companies. It is related to two phenomena. The first is the distance from the land. The survey shows a significant reduction in the number of establishment committees in multi-site companies, the average going from 8 to 5.9; a phenomenon that is added to the availability of local representatives in the law.

The second is the possibility offered by the reform through negotiation to reduce the frequency of consultation on the strategic orientations and social policy of the company, on a pace not annual but multi-year. "The risk is to weaken the intermediate bodies in the company and to end up dealing directly with the employees, without any more sensors or filters", points Olivier Laviolette, one of the leaders of Syndex.

Ordinances work: staff representatives worried about social dialogue

Leila de Comarmond