Wombat's works council is subject to court (neues-deutschland.de)

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Hostel: Wombat's works council is subject to court

Photo: imago images / snapshot / M.Czapski

An annoying defeat. The works council of the Wombat's City Hostel was subject on Wednesday before the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Berlin-Brandenburg. The employer had challenged the works council election of spring 2018. The reasons: From the management's point of view, the electoral board, which organizes and conducts the election, has unjustifiably changed the job titles of candidates in a list. In addition, the electoral board in Wombat's to have too many employees based on the election.

The latter is an important point for employers, because from an employment size of 51 employees, the works council has five employees, up to 50 employees. At the 2018 election, five candidates were finally elected.

The LAG was right on both counts in the decision-making process of Wombat's management. This was confirmed by a court spokesman on Wednesday. The electoral board should have returned the list, which in his view was flawed, to the list owner to change it and not be allowed to change it independently.

The LAG also shared the employer's argument as to the size of the company: the company had no 51 employees, but no more than 50. Although an electoral board has the possibility of making "certain forecasts" on employment trends, here too more than 50 employees are not – especially since the hostel had announced the spin-off of nine cleaners into its own company.

"The first instance, the Berlin Labor Court, had given us the right size of business. We were amazed that this was back on the agenda, "said Works Council Raphael K. after the end of the procedure. He criticized that the change of the electoral list could now lead to a new election. "In the final analysis, we have written in the list in which list the candidates stand, because that was missing." Since it was a department manager – and thus an employer-friendly list – the allegation of the management would be that the Electoral board wanted to discredit the list with the professional appointment. "That's nonsense," says Raphael K. "We're such a small company, because everyone knows who's on the list anyway."

The works council now wants to decide whether to appeal to the Federal Labor Court within a month. If the LAG resolution of Wednesday becomes final, a new election of the works council – with three members – must be started immediately. By the time the election is over, the five-person panel elected in 2018 will remain in office.

The fight for and with the works council at Wombat's has been going on for years. Negotiations are currently underway for a social plan, as the management had announced that they would close the company by the end of August 2019 – to finally get rid of the works council is the criticism.

If new elections have to be held, a new works council would perhaps only be in office for another month. For the existing works council, which is negotiating for severance pay for workers at risk of losing a job, this new election means more work, more stress, and another chapter in the exemplary history of Union Busting, which is Wombat's City Hostel ,

. (TagsToTranslate) industrial action (t) works

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