Fisher, Paul / Works councils in Germany
Development of recent works council legislation, pp. 3-7 PDF (2.3 MB)
- 5 - S were to have competence over legislation in that field. With the Basic Law granting concurrent powers in this area, the U.S. High Commissioner had nevertheless given the Federal Government some period of time within which to act. After a substantial period had elapsed since the formation of the Federal Government, the U.S. High Commissioner felt that he could no longer justifiably suspend the operation of Land legislation on the subject. %hile the struggle for federal legislation was still going on, several additional Laender hastened to replace or to implement Allied Control Council Law No. 22 by legislation of their own. (In some Laender where works council legislation had been passed, the Allied High Commission annulled Law No. 22.) In some instances, a Social Democratic majority, uncertain of its political future in the particular Land, wishes to place such a law on the statute books and on the record. This is probably the explanation for the law passed in Schleswig-Holstein on May 3, 1950. For a similar reason, Bremen was reconsidering reenactment and implementation of those economic codetermination provisions which had been dropped from earlier legislation. In other instances, an attempt was made to influence the fight in Bonn by a "model" law incorporating those features which the respective sponsors considered desirable. This is the intention of the SPD majority in Hamburg in preparing a works council law. On the other hand, a conservative Landtag in Bavaria succeeded in converting a draft, originally prepared by the unions but then modified in conference, into a piece of legislation which would severely restrict the role of the works council in comparison to that granted under other Land laws. At the time of this report, the Hamburg, Bremen, and Bavarian bills / had not been enacted. The Bavarian law, which was passed by the Landtag in August, was subsequently returned by the Senate with certain objections to the Landtag which has referred the bill back to committee. As for federal legislation, the Parliament has now received three separate bills, one of which was submitted by the CDU/CSU fraction of the Bundestag and another, based largely on a DGB proposal, was introduced by the SPD Bundestag representation. In September 1950, the Federal Government sent a Cabinet-approved draft law to the Bundesrat which transmitted the bill, together with a number of recoimended changes back to the Cabinet. At last report, the Federal Ministry of Labor had announced its intention to consult separately with employers' and union representatives before sending the bill to the Bundestag. 2/ Editorial Note: The Bavarian law was enacted in October 1950.
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