Collective Agreements Act Germany

However, the Federal Constitutional Court also found that the law did not contain sufficient safeguards to protect the rights of certain occupational categories or sectors when replacing existing collective agreements. He made the following statements. Instead, collective bargaining at the inter-professional level between trade unions and employers` organisations remains at the centre of the definition of wages and conditions in Germany. Separate agreements between trade unions and some companies are less common, although there are some exceptions (for example. B the agreement on the Volkswagen car group) and that they are more common in the former GDR (see below). Currently, the various collective agreements of competing unions can be applied simultaneously to workers in the same occupational category (a situation known as collective conflict). The law complements the Collective Agreements Act with a new paragraph 4 bis. (Tarifgesetz, TVG (stand on 25.08.1969, BundesGESETZBLATT [BGBl.] I um 1323, ge-ndert, DEUTSCHES TAGEBLATT ONLINE.) A separate study by the Federal Statistical Office used the results of the 2014 Wage Survey to calculate the extent to which workers are bound by collective agreements. It yielded similar results to the IAB figures, although generally lower. It found that in 2014, 46% of employees and 15% of jobs were bound by collective agreements. As with the IAB figures, they show that sectoral agreements, which cover 41% of the workforce and 13% of jobs, are by far the most covered. [2] However, the interpretation and application of the law must be consistent with tariff autonomy, which is protected as a fundamental right under Article 9, paragraph 3, of the GG. It is up to the ordinary courts to rule in detail on the outstanding issues.

The law is incompatible with the Constitution only to the extent that it is not in distorted provisions to ensure that the interests of members of certain professions or sectors are not unilaterally neglected in the exclusion of existing collective agreements. Unlike other countries, there are no specific rules for trade union representation in Germany, but to be a party to an agreement, the union must be able to negotiate (“agreed”). Unions must not only fulfil more formal conditions, such as a Constitution that allows them to negotiate, but also show that they can be effective and put pressure on the other side, as evidenced by membership and organizational strength. In the past, the courts have found that some of the Christian CGB unions do not have this capacity and that the agreements they have signed are not valid. The best known example was the Christian temporary workers` union CGZP, which was unable to negotiate in December 2010. The principle that a single collective agreement should apply in a company has underpinned German industrial relations for decades. Only the most specific and relevant agreement (tariff unit) could cover a company`s staff at the same time. This practice meant that in companies where collective agreements overlapped, only the agreement reached by the majority union applied.

However, in 2010, the Bundesarbeitsgericht decided that several agreements could be applied in the same institution (the plurality of collective agreements). However, since the late 1990s, legislation has been put in place, which provides another way to establish universal minimum rates for certain industrial sectors.