Industrial relations in Germany are characterised by a dual system of representation. While employees are involved in decision-making in their company, wage agreements are concluded for the sector as a whole. The principle of free collective bargaining charges the representatives of employees and employers with the task of establishing general conditions. The aim is to distribute market incomes in such a way as to secure social cohesion and acceptance of the free market economy on the one hand, while preserving incentives, on the other. At the establishment level, Germany’s democratic works constitution is based on the principle of codetermination by works councils and workers’ representatives on supervisory boards. As representatives of the workforce, works councils are endowed with a statutory role in determining working conditions.
The researchers analyse the wage policy from a national and international perspective. It includes the development of wages and labour costs. A special topic is the question of price competitiveness. This is covered by comparing unit labour costs, productivity and hourly labour costs in an international perspective.
Topics in this policy area include issues of the collective bargaining process and co-determination. The researchers analyse conflict intensity in collective bargaining, industrial action and social partner relations. Analytical reports on industrial relations, working conditions and restructuring in Germany are, for example, prepared for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions – a tripartite European Union Agency based in Dublin.
- European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO)
- European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO)
- European Restructuring Monitor (ERM)