Fisher, Paul / Works councils in Germany
Introduction, pp. -2 PDF (904.6 KB)
WORK COUNCILS IN GERMANY INTRODUCTION This study of the works council in its relations to the unions, the employees, the employer, and the community was suggested by the Office of Labor Affairs, Office of the U. S. High Commissioner for Germany. The following report summarizes the findings of this survey which was conducted in Western Germany and Western Berlin during the summer of 1950. i/ Almost the entire period spent in Germany on this study was devoted to actual field work inasmuch as basic background material had already been consulted in the United States. This source material was then brought up-to-date through a study of current literature and labor court decisions in Germany. The field survey centered on visits to industrial establishments where works council members, management, and employees were inter- viewed separately with the aid of carefully-prepared questionnaires; on conversations with union officials, representatives of employers' associations and of the Federal and Land Labor Ministries; and on talks with individuals in various walks of public life, such as university professors, etc. In order to obtain a representative sample, 20 plants in various parts of Western Germany were selected so as to cover a wide number of industries as well as differences in organizational form, geographic location, and economic importance. These 20 enterprises were engaged in coal mining, the manufacture of iron and steel, building and construction, the production of machinery, vehicles, electrical appliances, cement, pharmaceuticals, rubber, paper, rayon, textiles, shoes and leather, food processing, shipbuilding, printing, and insurance. NOTE: The views herein expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of the U. S. High Commissioner for Germany. Certain phases of this subject have been treated by Charles E. Shaw in "Human Relations in Industry,' Visiting Expert Series No. 4, Deeember 1948, and in "Management-Labor Committees," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 3, No. 2, January 1950, pp. 229 - 241.
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