Ecology in the hands of social dialogue

Social right. With the law against climate change of August 22, 2021, the ecological transition has left “soft law” to enter “hard law”, by joining the labor code. It is true that the “Fordist compromise” of the “thirty glorious years” ignoring the negative externalities of highly polluting industries has lived. It is therefore a question of launching a new pact to find, in particular in terms of employment and skills development, the right balance between energy transition, the economy and the social.

How? ‘Or’ What ? Not by creating a specialized body competing with the social and economic committee (CSE), but by integrating it into the information-consultation of the latter, associated with compulsory negotiation with the unions: a cross-cutting issue, the energy transition must irrigate the overall social dialogue.

The law thus first broadens the general competence of the CSE: it “Ensures a collective expression of employees allowing their interests to be permanently taken into account (…), in particular with regard to the environmental consequences ” employer decisions.

Three problems

With regard to ad hoc consultations (strategic orientations, working and employment conditions), the CSE must now systematically be “Informed of their environmental consequences”. One can imagine the importance of this addition in the automotive or petroleum sector. But also for a job protection plan… and a banal move?

This poses three problems for staff representatives, but also for management, and in particular in SMEs.

– Where do and where do these “Environmental consequences” ?

– The skills required are sometimes very technical, especially if we want to avoid preconceived ideas (example: the ecological miracle of teleworking) or media actions with no real effect. The law therefore broadened the program of economic or trade union training courses for elected officials. And the accountant appointed by the CSE during the examination of the strategic orientations will also be able to analyze “Environmental elements” : an expert with therefore panoramic competence, and a market that is opening up.

– The legislator has not planned for additional delegation hours, while since the 2017 merger, many delegates have struggled to cope.

Very, very practical work

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