Employees of German business software maker SAP turned out in good numbers Wednesday to elect members to the company’s new workers council.
Nearly 65 percent of the approximately 11,000 employees eligible to vote in Germany cast their ballots for the 37-member representative council, according to SAP spokesman Tony Roddam. More than 400 candidates vied for a position.
SAP was one of the largest German companies to lack a workers council. The company’s management and many of its employees had consistently rejected the establishment of such a body, supporting instead a system whereby eight employee representatives were elected to the company’s supervisory board.
Three SAP employees, who are also members of the IG Metall labor union, are credited with forcing elections for a workers council after taking the Walldorf, Germany, company to court.
The Wir fur Dich, or We Represent You, party has the largest representation with 16 council members. Of these, eight were former employee representatives on the supervisory board.
The Pro Betriebsrat, or Pro Employee Council, party won three seats, held by the three SAP union employees who forced the workers council.
On July 3, the 37 council members will elect a chairman.
“We don’t have much to say about the workers council other than we expect the good relations with employees to continue,” Roddam said.
SAP has a global workforce of about 36,000.
-John Blau, IDG News Service (Dusseldorf Bureau)
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