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Cook, Alice Hanson / Workers' education in the U.S. Zone of Germany
(1947)

Labor education,   pp. 5-15 PDF (6.4 MB)


Page 14


.,.ilitary Governmuent law on works c)uncils is written so as to give the
uniqas 4nore rosponsibility for handIing plant problems and controlling con-
ditions in a given industry. than. they 1had under thf .leimar lair But the
biilit
Gjvurmaent  law calls for a different kind of trade union policy in relation
to v..rks councils than was known before and for working? out new--techniqfes
of
union-council relationships. 14illtary Government officers are often dis-
appointed that the unions do not showl %i3re initiative in exploiting the
possib!
ities for freer action :nd closar control which the law gives them both ex-
plicitly and implicitly.
.  'Lany factors '.-;rk a.aiast achiovina ;uccess here. Chief among them
are a
shQrtag- of leadersh.ip persDnnel to handle. the day to day problems; the
tra-
dition in -.hich a great deal of the jprcsent leadership grew *   the ua~vail-
ability of .-nay young new leaders; tle shoirtness of time since the unions
vere~
reorganized; uncertainty ,bout the w;Zh le economic situation in Germany;
 un-
certainty upon the part of tn3 unions as to the ovter-all plans which the
occupation forces have for Germany; lack Df ti=;) and opportunity for S1Jitary
Governaent and union leaders to come to a coimnDa understanding of the pr-,lems
which face the unions; a desire on the part of .iilitary' Government to *le..uile
Germanas work out their own stqlvation within the framework of ..llied Contcll
Council law. Favorable conditionLs for this kind of w-ork are not easy to
create,
But these questions Zurthe dealt witlh if the unions are not to face a deep
crisis within the next faw years. J(ith the reastab)lishment of the .cadezny
of
Labor at Frankfurt, an earnest atteTpt has beea rade by the unions of all
four
zones to find gifted, intelligent, active young trade unionists for the two
semester course. The advisory com..aittee of the .cademy on its part has
careful
worked out a broad pragraa of study ained at giving 'Wademy students, as
futur~
labor leaders, a .asic education in economics, history, sociolod, labor
problems, law and political science.. On this foundation: coupled with practica
experience in the unions and public agencies doaling with labor,, leadership
ca
develop.
The Hluaburg unions havt- also w;orkQ0 out a detailed p-lai hith the Universi
of Hoamburg for the establishment of an -icademy there.,  School of Ā¢cononics
ha
been reestablished at.Dueaseldor;f.
-. careful seleotiaoi of students com;Ybined prith prac tical administration
of
the ..adem-aies in the intercsts of future union leadersh ip can provide
a sound
core of well-groundecd, an;rienced labor leadership in the age group which
the unions so desperetely need...
For tle prssent, the first ranks of labor leadership need oppbrtunities
for conferences and schooling where they ean attack funidamental problems
of
labor strategy -tid purpose such as were suggested above:.
The lower ranks of union lea.d;rship as reprosented. by works councillors,
youth leaders,. local union officers, etc. are the source froi which top
leader
ship normally coiaes. Schools for these groups are under way or have boen
planned in all the Laender. Some of th, courses are conducted by individual
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