GER: Eine Gewerkschaft ist eine Vereinigung von abhängig Beschäftigten zur Vertretung ihrer wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Interessen.
Gewerkschaften in Deutschland
Nach der Rechtsprechung deutscher Gerichte ist eine Gewerkschaft eine auf freiwilliger Basis errichtete privatrechtliche Vereinigung von Arbeitnehmern, die als satzungsgemäße Aufgabe den Zweck der Wahrnehmung und Förderung jedenfalls auch der wirtschaftlichen Interessen ihrer Mitglieder verfolgt, die gegnerfrei, in ihrer Willensbildung strukturell unabhängig von Einflüssen Dritter und auf überbetrieblicher Grundlage organisiert ist und Tariffähigkeit, das heißt die rechtliche Fähigkeit besitzt, die Arbeitsbedingungen ihrer Mitglieder tarifvertraglich mit normativer Wirkung zu regeln.
Manche Gewerkschaften organisieren sich als eingetragener Verein und sind deshalb juristische Personen des Privatrechts.
Andere Gewerkschaften sind keine eingetragenen Vereine, werden aber – wie politische Parteien – dennoch als rechtsfähige Personenvereinigung behandelt.
ENG: A trade union (British English) or labor union (American English and Canadian English) is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreements negotiated by the union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers.
Originating in Europe, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution, when the lack of skill necessary to perform most jobs shifted employment bargaining power almost completely to the employers' side, causing many workers to be mistreated and underpaid. Trade union organizations may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, or the unemployed.
The most common, but by no means only, purpose of these organizations is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment".
Over the last three hundred years, trade unions have developed into a number of forms. Activities vary, but may include:
- Provision of benefits to members: Early trade unions, like Friendly Societies, often provided a range of benefits to insure members against unemployment, ill health, old age and funeral expenses. In many developed countries, these functions have been assumed by the state; however, the provision of professional training, legal advice and representation for members is still an important benefit of trade union membership.
- Collective bargaining: Where trade unions are able to operate openly and are recognized by employers, they may negotiate with employers over wages and working conditions.
- Industrial action: Trade unions may enforce strikes or resistance to lockouts in furtherance of particular goals.
- Political activity: Trade unions may promote legislation favourable to the interests of their members or workers as a whole. To this end they may pursue campaigns, undertake lobbying, or financially support individual candidates or parties (such as the Labour Party in Britain) for public office.
Trade unions in Germany
Trade unions have a long history in Germany, reaching back to the German revolution in 1848, and still play an important role in German economy and society. The most important labor organization is the Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB) German Confederation of Trade Unions, which organizes nearly 7 million people or approximately 25% of all employees in the country and which is the umbrella association of several single trade unions for special economic sectors.
The largest single trade union is the IG Metall with about 2,300,000 members by 2010, organizing employees in metal (including automobile and machine building), electronics, steel, textile, wood and synthetics industries.
19. Januar 2012