GHDI logo

Labor's Vision of Collective Bargaining (March 1918)

page 2 of 2    print version    return to list previous document      next document


If a settlement is reached, its provisions are to be published in a decree signed by all members of the mediation board and the representatives of both sides. The published settlement and its stipulations are legally binding for the duration of the settlement on all employees and employers in the occupation in question, in accordance with Paragraph 1 of these guidelines. The suspension or modification of such an agreement requires three months’ notice.


If a settlement cannot be reached, the chairman and vice-chairman are to publish a summary of the dispute – two summaries, in case of disagreement between the two chairmen – including the reasons why agreement could not be reached. Both parties are free in this case to attempt to enforce their demands by means of a strike or lockout. Recruitment of labor from outside the country is forbidden for the duration of the labor stoppage. The mediation board is empowered at any time to call at its own discretion for renewed negotiations to reach a settlement.


To guarantee the fulfillment of contracts negotiated in accordance with No. 1, a dedicated fund shall be collected out of contributions from both employers and workers. Contributions shall be paid into the fund until the amount collected by each side comprises ten Marks per participating worker. Should the amount in the fund fall below this amount, contributions shall resume until the deficit is eliminated. The fund is to be administered by the parties themselves through their agents. The regular collection of contributions is to be regulated by law.


Claims for damages that arise from the infringement of a labor contract are to be decided by an arbitration board composed of representatives of the employers and workers. The arbitration board and rates of compensation are to be established in the labor contract itself, in accordance with §1. Rates of compensation are not to exceed a sum that is established by law.


All compensations that arise from contract infringement are to be paid exclusively from the dedicated fund, by the party that is required to make payment.


State contracts and contracts from other public corporations may only be given to entrepreneurs who agree to abide by the negotiations and decisions of the arbitration agencies and mediation boards, and who belong to no association that refuses to negotiate with workers’ representatives.

Source: Leitsätze zum Tarifvertragsrecht [Guiding Principles of the Labor Contract Law], Historische Kommission zu Berlin, NB 610, p. 24.

Reprinted in Klaus Schönhoven, ed., Die Gewerkschaften in Weltkrieg und Revolution 1914-1919 [The Labor Unions in World War and Revolution 1914-1918]. Cologne: Bund-Verlag, 1985, pp. 460-62.

Translation: Jeffrey Verhey and Roger Chickering

first page < previous   |   next > last page