Workshop IV: “Conflict settlement”

  • SCHOTT AG Alzenau
  • SCHOTT AG Mainz
  • SCHOTT AG Grünenplan
  • SCHOTT AG Landshut
  • SCHOTT Industrial Glass (UK)
  • Member of EMCEF
  • October 9, 2008
  • SCHOTT AG, Mainz
Objective Results
  • Procedure in case of conflict at the level of works council
  • Setting standards with the employer
  • Common information cascade for works council developed,
    • topic should be pursued.

Types of possible conflicts

  • Interpersonal
  • Factual / issue-related
  • Conflict of goals
  • Conflict of competence / responsibility
  • Political conflict
  • Conflict between countries and cultures
  • Conflict between employer and employee
  • Conflict of resources
  • Conflict of interests
  • Conflicts originating from misunderstandings
  • Conflicts between groups of employees
  • Personal conflicts

Possible consequence of unsolved conflict?

  • Unsolved conflict generates “new” conflicts
  • Complicates the solution of future conflicts
  • Unsolved conflict escalates and hampers (own) solution
Possible solutions?
  • Find conflict-free level
    • Factual level (for personal conflicts)
    • Personal level (for factual conflicts)
    • Call a mediator in

Example: conflict due to downsizin

Prior to:
  • Personal conflicts
    • employee vs. employee
    • employer vs. employee
  • Classic conflict
    • employer vs. employee (general)
    • Conflict of resources (workplace-related)
    • Conflict of interests
      • employer vs. Works Council
      • Conflict caused by misunderstandings
    • same conflict situation
      (unsolvable conflict)
    • unsolved conflicts => same conflict situation
    • solved conflicts => contribution to solution
      • employer vs. employee/Works Council
      • Works Council plays an important role,
        ->may act as mediator!

How should the Works Council proceed?

  • Analyses (type of conflict / who is involved)
  • Hear the conflicting parties in one-to-one interviews
  • Opinion forming in Works Council
    • laws, rules, regulations?
    • Works Council or mediator required?
  • Determine course of action, define aim
  • One-to-one interviews with conflicting parties (explain approach of mediating party)
    Check acceptability of Works Council as mediator
  • Bring the conflicting parties together
    • work out an approach to solution
    • documentation
  • Focus conflicting parties on solution finding
  • Observation phase
  • Follow up and final discussion
  • Publish documentation when indicated


  • Confidence building
  • Openness
  • Willingness to solve conflicts
  • Thinking ahead / possible new conflict?
  • Experiments? role reversal (mentally)
  • Exchange of experiences
  • Conflict manager
  • Speediness
  • Prioritization (thematic)
  • De-escalation management
  • Presence

Plan of action for dealing with conflicts within the EF

  • Information (active)
    • Who? Whom? When?
  • Obtain declaration of solidarity
    • (avoidance of new, internal conflicts)
  • Involve conflict manager
  • Prioritization
  • Contact to conflicting parties
    • see: “How should the Works Council proceed?“
  • Final documentation
  • Exchange of information (active)

Information cascade EF (during/after conflicts)

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