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Collective Bargaining Units Act: German trade unions fail before the ECHR

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Status: 05.07.2022 12:04 pm

“One company – one collective agreement” – this is the basic rule of the Collective Bargaining Act. This is intended to limit the power of small unions. And it stays that way. A trial against the law failed in Strasbourg.

By Gigi Deppe, ARD Legal Department

However, in Germany the largest trade union of a company can also decide in the future which collective agreement should be concluded with the company. For a long time, smaller unions, such as the train drivers’ union GDL, fought against the so-called Collective Agreements Act.

They believe that if other unions with more members are allowed to decide the rules, the interests of their particular professions will be lost. And finally it was the end of the small unions, because there was no longer any reason to interfere in them.

Not too many strikes

In 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected the complaints of several trade unions – and now also the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The case was also challenged by European judges. But the majority on the bench found that all was not so bad.

Small unions could still fight for the rights of their members. And what is very important: the German system is there to ensure that companies are not paralyzed by too many strikes – strikes that would ultimately harm other employees.

Finally, the European judges point out that there are also rules in other countries that the big unions would prefer. With this judgment from Strasbourg, the smallest only have what is already partly practiced: they must negotiate with employers and the big trade unions and expressly agree that there should still be special rules for special professional groups. .

European Court of Human Rights dismisses legal action against collective bargaining law

Gigi Deppe, SWR, 5.7.2022 11:38

Source www.tagesschau.de

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