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Fisher, Paul / Works councils in Germany

Brown, H. W.
Foreword PDF (457.6 KB)

Cpinions differ concerning the effectiveness and the
desirability of works councils which may be found in almost
all public and private establishments in Wiestern Germany and
.4estern Berlin. The works council, an institution established
under law, is not an anil of the trade union but represents
both union and non-union emiployees. It performs in the
industrial plant, the coxamercial establishment, and public
undertakings many services which, in the United States, would
be prerogatives of the trade union alone. In Germany, hoiiever,
the works council has had its own history, and its own
traditions based on e perience. In the same way, the German
trade union movement has its own history and traditions.
Although the functions of these two institutions do overlap,
most German trade unionists accept the works council as a
proper local representative body for all employees in individual
Professor Fisher, who is well-informed concerning the
history of both works councils and trade unions in Germany,
was invited to undertake the survey from which the present
report emerged. This report is descriptive of conditions as
he observed them regarding the present activities of works
councils and their relationship to other institutions. It
should be recognized, however, that in these changing times
the works councils, too, are in process of adaptation. Although
they have been changing and may be further modified in their
.form and functions there seems little likelihood that works
councils will be eliminated or become any less the legally
authorized bodies they now are,
H. it. BRO.N
Office of Labor affairs

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