Germany -Worries about the influence of small unions -March 7, 2012

Following controversial strikes, a fundamental dispute over the much-cherished principle of collective bargaining in Germany has come to a head. Small unions are gaining a disproportionate amount of influence as the unionisation in some sectors is splintering, although the courts have often ruled that the splinters have to end their strikes. This development can be seen as a direct consequence of 2010 Federal Labour Court rulings that have put and end to the principle of Tarifeinheit (Bargaining unity) that had existed over 60 years. The rulings gave more rights to small unions to contest the basis system with only one agreement for a given company. The DGB unions are worried that professional groups that stand to benefit the most from strikes could abandon the principle of solidarity. Employers, for their part, fear that companies will face permanent turmoil in the future, because individual collective bargaining agreements will constantly be expiring.



This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova All rights reserved. The ETUI is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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