Managing Modern Capitalism: Industrial Renewal and Workplace Democracy in the United States and Western Europe

By M. Donald Hancock; John Logue et al. | Go to book overview

9.
Workplace Democracy in Germany

JUTTA HELM

The German labor movement has a long history of relying on the state for protection against employers and market forces. Although the costs and benefits of this "state fixation" are continually being debated, there can be little doubt that over time it has assured organized labor a recognized position within offices and factories, in collective bargaining, and in the institutions of macroeconomic policymaking. This was not a smooth development, by any means. Economic and political changes have at times boosted and at other times suppressed labor's aspirations.1 As far back as 1891 the Works Protection Act encouraged the establishment of workers' committees in factories--albeit on a voluntary basis. In 1916 the committees became obligatory. Historians now view these first steps as an admission by the state that the governance of firms cannot entirely be left to employers. This view was explicitly incorporated into the constitution of the Weimar Republic and was spelled out more concretely in the Works Council Act of 1920, a major step forward for worker and trade union rights. But these rights crumbled during the Great Depression when employers were less and less willing to cooperate with the law. This process reached its logical conclusion in the Fascist state. Trade unions were outlawed in 1933, and a year later the Works Council Act was formally replaced by new rules that imposed the Führer-principle on all economic organizations.

The collapse of the political and economic order in 1945 created the kind of vacuum in which works councils and trade unions were able to reestablish themselves. Their efforts often salvaged what was left of infrastructures and supply systems. Some industrialists were quick to recognize their legitimacy and sought their cooperation in efforts to win more lenient treatment from the allied occupying powers. Labor leaders hoped to extend this cooperation to full codetermination in the context of the socialization of all basic industries. But this goal was not achieved. Instead "parity codetermination" at the enterprise level emerged as the result of an employer initiative in the steel industry in 1947.2

In 1951 this practice was codified in the Codetermination Act for the mining and iron/steel industries which gives employees the same number of seats on corporate supervisory boards as those allocated to representatives of private capital. Ever since then organized labor has attempted to extend this model law to

-173-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Managing Modern Capitalism: Industrial Renewal and Workplace Democracy in the United States and Western Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 359

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.