22 June 2010 19:47 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany’s chemical employers are upset about a move by the country’s highest labour court to no longer abide by an important legal principle governing collective bargaining in Europe's largest economy, they said on Tuesday.
That principle, known as “Tarifeinheit”, lays down that there is only one collective bargaining deal per plant.
“Tarifeinheit – this is, the principle of ‘one plant, one collective deal’ - is the basis of the stable social partnership that union and employers have built up over decades in the chemical industry,” said Eggert Voscherau, president of Wiesbaden-based chemical employers group BAVC.
BAVC represents 1,900 Germany-based employers in the chemical and rubber industries in their collective dealings with unions.
Voscherau, who is also head of BASF’s supervisory board, called on lawmakers to enshrine the principle in law so that courts would have to respect it.
The principle had proven itself, especially in the recent economic crisis. The alternative - that is, several separate collective agreements for various groups of workers at a plant - would destabilise and weaken industry, he said.
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Giving up on “Tarifeinheit” would further strengthen those individual interests and as such pose a “real threat” for
The principle was an issue during 2007/2008 strike action by German train drivers that hit chemicals shipments. The drivers were pressing their own collective agreement, separate from other rail workers.
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