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Employee Participation in Practice: Works Councils in the Tissue of Social Partnership in Switzerland


The article gives an overview on the situation of firm-level employee representation in the private sector in Switzerland: Where are they frequent? Which formal status do they enjoy? What are the topics they deal with? How do they position themselves between the affiliation to the firm and the interconnection beyond the limits of the firm? We show that the strong decentralisation of industrial relations in Switzerland leads to regulations and conventions at branch and firm level with a much larger impact on the practice than legal regulations.