An evening at the JKU focused on the past, present and future of social partnership.
As part of his opening remarks, JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas stated: "One would have to invent social partnership, providing it didn't already exist." He pointed out just how important social partnership is when it comes to social cohesion, particularly in times of crisis. Prof. Susanne Pernicka (Institute of Sociology) followed, introducing a book titled "Sozialpartnerschaftliche Handlungsfelder: Kontinuitäten, Brüche und Perspektiven", examining the changing conditions of tripartite interest politics from an interdisciplinary perspective. A presentation by Prof. Elias Felten (Institute of Labor and Social Law) used examples from the reformed 2018 Working Hours Act to illustrate the interaction between politics & government, law, and social partnership.
A high-profile panel discussion during the second part of the event featured Dr. Gerald Silberhumer (Director of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce), Mag. Max Stelzer (the Group Human Resources Director at voestalpine AG), and Mag. Ernst Stummer (Deputy Director of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labor). The participants agreed that despite some discord in the past, social partnership in Upper Austria is "alive and well". In an effort to cope with growing challenges (a rising inflation rate, the energy crisis, environmental issues), everyone should continue to adhere to the Austrian model of compromise and balancing interests. In a closing, those on the panel expressed cautious optimism that this will be successful. The evening ended with casual discussions in a more relaxed atmosphere at the Ch@t Café.