Centralisation and Decentralisation as Tendencies of Union Organisational and Bargaining Policy

  • Rainer Zoll


At first glance there would hardly seem to be anything less comparable than the situation of the unions in the Federal Republic of Germany and in Italy. In the former country, there is a unitary organisation for blue- and white-collar workers; in the latter, three different, politically oriented unions. In the former, a union structure which has remained nearly unchanged since the establishment of the DGB in 1949; in the latter, a dynamic of division and reunification which has by no means reached its conclusion. In the former, a degree of legal regulation of labour relations that is not to be found anywhere else in Western Europe; in the latter, a militant working class that, in the ‘Hot Autumn’ of 1969, swept away all regulations similar to obligations for industrial peace, which had anyway only been introduced by a recent labour contract. In the former, the right to strike is granted only to a recognised group of workers; in the latter, it is a right of the individual worker. This list of differences could easily be expanded, but more important than such considerations is the conspicuous difference between the social movements in Italy and in the BRD.


Collective Bargaining Shop Floor Organisational Policy Wage Policy Wage System 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1978

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  • Rainer Zoll

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