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Fisher, Paul / Works councils in Germany
([1951])

Introduction,   pp. [1]-2 PDF (904.6 KB)


Page 2


- 2-
The number of employees in these firms ranged from about 10C
to 25,CO. Among the various forms of ownership or administration
were single proprietorships, different types of partnerships and
corporations, but also firms under trusteeship as a result of
denazification, decartelization, and nationalization.
The fifty-odd union officials interviewed represent a cross-
section of the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB), the German
Salaried Employees Union (DAG), and of the Association of £mployees
in Managerial Positions (VELA).  Relations between works councils
and unions were discussed with top executives of the DGB at
Duesseldorf, the directors of the DGB Economic Research Institute
(.FiI), DGB functionaries in the individual Land, district, and
local DGB organizations, and with the union leaders, at national,
regional, and local level, of the 11 most important unions affiliated
with the DGB (total member unions number 16). Satisfactory coverage
of employers' associations and Labor Ministries was also achieved.
The author wishes to express his appreciation for the extremely
valuable assistance and guidance provided by the U.S. Departments
of State and Labor, the Office of Labor Affairs, HICOG, and for the
splendid cooperation offered by the French Division Travail and the
British Office of the Manpower Adviser and, last but certainly not
least, for the very cooperative attitude of all representatives of
German organizations interviewed who gave so generously of their time
and experience.
The interview of German public and private officials during this
survey benefited from the results of the Department of State's
exchange program which had enabled many of them to visit the United
States. These persons had acquired sufficient insight into American
institutions to give them a broader perspective of German institutions.
Their contributions to the inquiry were therefore of considerable value.
In order to prevent this report from becoming unduly cumbersome,
it was decided to give only a summary of the findings of this survey.
A detailed documentation of all material presented in the report was
omitted inasmuch as a more comprehensive study on European works
council legislation will be prepared later by the author.
For the identical reason no comprehensive discussion of the whole
problem was attempted.  Instead, the discussion was focused on a few
selected aspects.
In view of the great interest which union-works council relations
have for the American observer, the greater part of the study is
devoted to this subject.


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