Sunday, 27 March 2011

Non-executive board members and workers’ interests

The Dutch corporate governance model, with non-executive board members having an independent position while being supposed to keep workers’ interests in mind, can be an example for other countries, argues Ieke van den Burg of the À Propos Foundation. However, workers’ councils might more assertively use their right to nominate board members and there should be a network of board members who value good labour relations.
Good communication between the workers’ council and non-executive board members “can compensate for the megalomania of the executive boards and help prevent evil foreign (step-) parent companies dismantling and plundering [a company]”, Van den Burg argues. With the compensation she receives for sitting on the board of ASML on behalf of the employees, she created the À Propos Foundation to contribute to this goal.
According to Van den Burg, workers’ councils are too timid when it regards using their right to nominate a board member. They are too easily pressurised into nominating independent board members and they do not keep in touch with the board member as much as they should.
Background information: special issue of Zeggenschap, video

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