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Types of TRADE/LABOR unions in China and Germany - Essay Example


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Types of TRADE/LABOR unions in China and Germany

It represents Chinese workers and is the biggest trade union in the world with more than 135 million members. The union is divided into thirty-one regions and ten industrial unions. Members of the union cannot elect their leaders and hence, the union cannot be classified as an independent one; it is similar to the historical German Labor Front (GLF). The ACFTU is a monopoly trade union, and this has forced foreign companies working in China to form a chaptered trade union within the ACFTU since forming a competing union is against the law. The union has close ties with the ruling party – the Chinese Communist Party. The work of the ACFTU is to assist the government in ensuring that there is a continuous operation in the labor market (Pringle, 2011). The all-encompassing union in Germany is the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) which has more than 7 million members; it is an umbrella for several trade unions in the country. The biggest single trade union is IG Metall which has more than 2.3 million members; it brings together employees from metal industries, electronics, textile, wood, and synthetics (Campbell, 1992). Labor unions in Germany set the framework for employee conditions such as wage agreements, setting the wage level and working hours. Industrial relations in Germany are characterized by a high level of workers participation, including in council boards where they have the right to vote on board decisions. The leadership of the unions is fully elected by the members

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and they are autonomous. The DGB only coordinates joint demands among different single trade unions but is not directly involved in bargaining and does not provide conclusion in collective labor agreements (Arnold, 2007). Trade unions in China and Germany are separated by members’ interest and all-encompassing union laws. There are four types of trade unions in China and Germany. They are: craft unions – this kind of unions represents employees with specific skills; industrial unions – they represent all employees in the same industry with different skills; general unions – they generally represent workers’ divergent skills; and lastly white collar unions – they represent specials skills such as doctors, engineers, and others (Arnold, 2007). The ACFTU is not separated from the government since it has close ties with the ruling party and it ensures that government frameworks are followed. This contradicts what the trade unions were meant for. Trade unions in Germany are autonomous from government. The members elect their own leaders without state interference and their powers are established by the labor laws in the constitution. These laws include contract of employment, which is found in the Civil Code Acts 611-630, Part Time and Fixed Term Work Act 14(2), and Holidays Act. Dismissal from employment is covered in the Dismissal Protection Act. There are several differences between Chinese labor laws and German labor laws. In China, labor unions are mass movements governed by the leadership of the ruling party. The constitution of China states that labor unions accept the leadership of the communist party and are significant supports of government power. The leaders of the ACTFU are also members of the ruling communist party. In Germany, which is a democratic country, labor unions do not depend on any political parties. They are autonomous bodies and
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Trade union is a movement created by workers who have come together to fight for one common goal such as protecting the honor of their trade, fighting to achieve higher pay rise, fighting for the increase in the number of employees working in the sector, and improved working conditions such as better housing…
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