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The crumbling pillars of social partnership

[collection article]

Streeck, Wolfgang; Hassel, Anke

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Abstract "First fissures in the West German industrial order were observed in the 1980s when unions divided over how to respond to persistend unemployment. Opposing the reduction od weekly working hours pursued by the left wind of the union movement, the Kohl government invited employers, works councils and dissenting unions to rely on the social security system for reducing the supply of labour. Simultaneously it took steps to curtail union power. For a short time, unification restored tripartite co-operation as government, business and labour worked hand in hand to transfer West German institutions to the new Länder of the east. The ensuing economic crisis, which was exacerbated by the accelerated internationalisation of European economies, drove a wedge in the employers' camp, caused a mismatch between institutionalised union strength and economic conditions, and forced the government to do something about rising social security expenditures and public debt. When in 1996 government attempts at consensual labour market and social security reform failed - mainly due to opposition in the government camp demanding more aggressive intervention - a solution was sought by unilateral legislation. Causing unprecedented union protest while falling short of business demands, it contributed to Kohl's defeat two years later." (excerpt)
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; social partnership; labor market; trade union; old federal states; New Federal States; employer; national state
Classification Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations; Labor Market Policy
Method descriptive study
Collection Title Germany: beyond the stable state
Editor Kitschelt, Herbert; Streeck, Wolfgang
Document language English
Publication Year 2004
Publisher Cass
City London
Page/Pages p. 101-124
ISBN 0-7146-5588-0
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne