The results of the works council elections in more than 1,000 companies show that on average 79 percent of the employees go to the polls. Participation is particularly high if a simplified election procedure is used. In the vast majority of firms candidates are elected directly and individually. Thus the significance of registered candidate lists which represent specific groups within the workforce and can only be voted for as a whole is noticeably lower than in previous elections. On average, 29 percent of works council members are female. Members’ degree of unionization ranges between 49 and 55 percent. It is significantly lower in service industries than in manufacturing. In addition, the share of union members in the works council declines as the proportion of female and high-skilled workers rises. It is, however, significantly higher in works councils where the share of reelected members is above average. The survey also suggests that the chairperson is typically a worker with a long record as employee representative.
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