16. December 2015

Trade unions and works councils

In Germany, interaction between employers and employees is defined primarily by 4 players: the employers, the employers’ associations, the trade unions and the works councils, based on the Works Council Constitution Act and other statutory regulations.

Trade unions

Trade unions represent the interests of the employees and recruit their members directly from companies - regardless of whether a company is a member of an employers’ association like vbm or bayme, or whether it applies the industry-wide collective agreement or not. The trade unions (e. g. IG Metall) are the negotiating party with the employers’ association vbm in collective bargaining.

The works council

A works council may be elected by the employees at any time, regardless of whether a company is a member of an employers’ association or not. The works council has certain rights of participation and co-determination in personnel, social and economic matters. It also represents the interests of the employees with regards to the observance of labor legislation and collective and company agreements. bayme vbm advise their members on their dealings with the works council.


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Dagmar Cassan

Leiterin Verbindungsbüro New York

+1 (0)646-825-4625
+1 (0)212-969-9015
Dagmar Cassan
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