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Fisher, Paul / Works councils in Germany

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

Page [1]

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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