Co-determination Lessons from Germany for Everyone

It is beyond exaggeration that the German economy was rebuilt through the untiring efforts of German people but what is being recognized as the driving force behind these efforts is Co-determination.

Germany was defeated and humiliated in the war but still it could regain its position within two decades. In contrast to it Bangladesh won the won but it could not make up its war destruction even during the following three decades.

Co-determination Lessons

Co-determination was introduced formally within the first six years of the end of World War II. The whole of German industrial efforts were directed towards the achievement of the national goal of reconstruction and development.

German managers provided the leadership to achieve the goal. But the Bangladesh nation appeared to have no set national goal to achieve. The managers failed to provide proper leadership in the newly created vast public sector after liberation.

The management structure of Bangladesh industries did not work well. Absence of co-ordination and a sense of dedication towards the nation turned the whole management set up corrupt and inefficient. Lack of determination and direction also caused demonization to workers who suffered regressively from a rapid degradation of their wages and living conditions.

The stat-power threw the public sector at bay and sponsored a class of lumping capitalists in the name of privatization who became owners of erstwhile public industrial enterprises at nominal prices.

The regimes that followed the military coup on August 15, 1975 became responsible for the elimination of democratic norms in the society. Industrial democracy in this situation could not be thought of.

Now, with the re-emergence of democratic Government in the country, it is expected that the ground for industrial democracy would soon be prepared and the management structure of industrial enterprises in Bangladesh may have Supervisory Board and Works Council having worker membership as in German Co-determination.

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