22 March 2011
The legal basis of collective bargaining in Germany is laid down by the Collective Agreements Act, 1949. Collective agreements can be concluded between employer associations (or individual employers) and trade unions. In contrast, works councils – statutory employee representation bodies elected at workplace and company level – may only conclude works agreements. Under the Works Constitution Act, these ‘shall not deal with remuneration and other conditions of employment that have been fixed, or are normally fixed, by collective agreement’. An overview report is available.
22 March 2011
The legal basis of collective bargaining in Austria is laid down by the Labour Constitution Act (ArbVG). According to the ArbVG, collective agreements can be concluded only between collective organisations of employers and employees. Therefore, the Austrian labour law systematically benefits multi-employer bargaining. Consequently, the overwhelming majority of collective agreements are concluded at sectoral level. An overview report is available.
08 May 2005
On 21 and 22 April 2005 an international conference on 'minimum wages in Europe' was held in Zurich (Switzerland) with participants from seven European countries including representatives from the European Commission, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), several national trade union organisations and various industrial relations experts. During that conference researchers from the Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut in der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (WSI) in Germany, the Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in France and the Denknetz in Switzerland presented a joint paper entitled 'theses for a European minimum wage policy  ' which demand a coordination of national minimum wage policies at European level.  http://www.boeckler.de/pdf/wsi_2005_thesen_mindlohn_en.pdf
12 May 2004
The current German federal government is a 'red-green' coalition of the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) and the Alliance 90/The Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), which was re-elected in September 2002. In 2003, there were four major regional elections at the level of the federal states (Länder), which brought mixed results. In the city state of Bremen, the coalition government of the SPD and the Christian Democratic Party (Christlich Demokratische Union, CDU) defended its majority, as did the conservative Christian Social Union (Christlich Soziale Union, CSU) in Bavaria. In Hessia, the ruling coalition government of the CDU and the Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP) was replaced by a CDU-only government, while the SPD government in Lower Saxony was voted out of office and replaced by a CDU/FDP coalition. As a result of these elections, the federal opposition parties, CDU/CSU and FDP, successfully defended their majority in the Bundesrat, the second chamber of parliament. Because many legislative initiatives in the field of industrial relations and employment require a majority in both chambers of parliament, the red-green federal government is forced to find political compromises with the conservative and liberal opposition parties.
11 February 2004
In December 2003, the leading German association of private investors (Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz, DSW) published a study on management board members' income at Germany’s 30 leading public limited companies listed on the German Stock Exchange Index (Deutscher Aktienindex, DAX) - see the table below.
23 December 2003
Since the 1990s, the German system of sector-level collective bargaining has seen a continuous process of transformation towards more company-level bargaining. This transformation has taken various forms:
23 March 2003
At the general election held in September 2002, the 'red-green' federal coalition government of the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) and Alliance 90/the Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) successfully, if narrowly, defended its majority in the first chamber of parliament, the Bundestag, and remained in office (DE0211205F ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/implications-of-the-new-red-green-government-for-industrial-relations
04 March 2003
In January 2003, the Collective Agreement Archive (WSI-Tarifarchiv) of the Institute for Economic and Social Research (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) within the Hans-Böckler Foundation published its report on the 2002 collective bargaining round (Tarifpolitscher Jahresbericht 2002: Harte Verteilungskonflikte, Reinhard Bispinck/WSI-Tarifarchiv, WSI Informationen zur Tarifpolitik, Düsseldorf, January 2003 ).  http://www.boeckler.de/ebib/volltexte/Tarifpolitische_Halb-_Jahresberichte-2002-JB-text.pdf
19 January 2003
On 13 December 2002, the Employers’ Association for Private Banking (Arbeitgeberverband des privaten Bankgewerbes, AGV Banken), the Collective Bargaining Community for Public Banks (Tarifgemeinschaft öffentlicher Banken) and the Unified Service Sector Union (Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, ver.di) concluded new collective agreements for about 215,000 employees in private banking and 75,000 employees in public banks. The agreements were reached after more than half a year of negotiations, which were accompanied by strikes involving about 70,000 banking employees (DE0210203F ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/pay-dispute-continues-in-banking
05 August 2002
On 12 July 2002, the Bundesrat- the second chamber of parliament, representing the federal states' (Länder) governments - rejected the government's bill for a 'law on collectively agreed pay in public procurement' (Gesetz zur tariflichen Entlohnung bei öffentlichen Aufträgen). More than two months previously, on 26 April, the Bundestag- the first chamber of parliament - had adopted the bill. While in the Bundestag, the ruling coalition of the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei, SPD) and Alliance 90/The Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) hold a majority of the votes, the opposition parties - the Christian Democratic Party (Christlich Demokratische Partei, CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (Frei Demokratische Partei, FDP) - have a majority in the Bundesrat.