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Workers' Participation in the Firm: Between Social Freedom and Non-Domination. WP CSDLE “Massimo D’Antona”.INT – 149/2019

Perulli, Adalberto (2019) Workers' Participation in the Firm: Between Social Freedom and Non-Domination. WP CSDLE “Massimo D’Antona”.INT – 149/2019. [Working Paper]

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    Usually, board-level worker representation is a topic discussed in the context of legal reflection on the governance structure of companies, and, therefore, more from the point of view of corporate law than of labour law (so, for example, in Denmark, Germany, and in the EU’s legal framework). Without in any way willing to part from this traditional perspective, in this chapter I would like to develop some arguments in favour of the participation from a perspective that privileges the individual right of workers, by freely developing certain elements of reflection drawn from moral philosophy, and in particular from the idea of “social freedom” as elaborated by Axel Honnet1, and of “non-domination” as theorized in the neo-republican thought by Philip Pettit2, to which is added the important contribution of Amartya Sen on the “capabilities” as an expression of the freedom of people in acquiring important functioning. I believe that these currents of philosophical-moral thought can usefully be mobilized in a convergent perspective, in which board-level worker participation represents the outcome of a process of revisiting the assumptions of traditional labour law, so that the employment relationship is the expression of a structure of domination (the capitalist firm) which necessarily limits the freedom (negative and positive) of the worker, and which identifies in the conflict between capital and labour the only horizon in which the values of the respective (social and economic)spheres find some precarious and transitory moments of composition. I believe that by adopting this traditional perspective - which is still very widespread in the doctrine of labour law - the possibility of promoting the participation of workers in the management of the company is greatly limited, even on the political-institutional level, whether it is considered as the natural and intrinsic outcome of social freedom achieved in the main spheres of human life (described in Hegel’s philosophy of law: the affective relationships, the market and the democratic state), whether we consider it an extrinsic legal construction with respect to a capitalist dynamics governed by a purely individualistic rationality based on exploitation, according to Marxian reading.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > industrial/labour relations
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Catania > Department of Law, C.S.D.L.E. "Massimo D'Antona" Working Papers .INT
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2019 14:19
    Number of Pages: 24
    Last Modified: 24 Oct 2019 14:19

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