Works councils are not directly trade union bodies. But unions have a big influence on their work. An analysis of the results of the 2014 Election of the Works Council on behalf of the Hans B-ckler Foundation showed that about three-quarters of the elected members were members of trade unions within the DGB (the main trade union confederations), although there were sectoral differences. In the energy and chemical industry (organized by IGBCE), 80.0% were unionized, compared to 76.6% in the metallurgical and textile industry (organized by IG Metall). In sectors organized by the NGG Food and Restaurant Union and in services organised by Ver.di (61.0%) 73.8% were lower. 2) Health and safety committees should be established in all workplaces with more than 50 employees and in some 20 to 50 employees. Members of the Works Council attend safety committee meetings. When electing a business committee, there are a number of complex rules and regulations that the electoral committee must inform itself of in advance. Corporate committees must have sufficient time and financial resources. For example, for the purchase of books or participation in seminars on the subject. In the event of dismissal, the Works Council must be consulted and may object; dismissal can be maintained despite the opposing works councils. The creation of an enterprise committee is not mandatory for workers. The creative initiative must come from workers or trade unions.
When a company has more than one branch, it is generally possible to create a business committee for each branch, provided it has five or more employees. When a company with more than 20 employees plans to change its operations, it must strike a balance of interests with the works council on the “if” and “how” of the change of business as well as a social plan. A high proportion of all corporate committees are in structures, including central business committees and/or group business committees.