Unions’ Demands for Offering Families Greater Security
For a long time now, the unions have presented a large list of demands for offering families greater security, and, in their negotiations at all levels, the unions have tried repeatedly to implement these demands. They demand, among other things,
putting families on a better financial footing through sufficient wages and salaries,
apartments that are suitable for families at reasonable rents
freedom with regard to teaching and learning aids
sufficient child allowances
tax advantages for families
They demand further:
putting the employer and employee on an equal basis
and a social policy that corresponds to the principles of a socially-minded state under the rule of law and, in particular, to Article 6, of the Basic Law. This also includes:
the general protection of mother and child,
the particular protection of working mothers,
pregnant women and women who have recently delivered through a progressive maternity protection law,
a genuine health care program for those families that, for example, also have a legal right to home care,
shorter working hours, which will give working people more free time for life in and with their families.
These shorter working times are possible on the basis of technical progress, and, in consideration of the extraordinarily high degree of energy expenditure, are urgently needed.
The financial foundation of the family matters a lot and decides whether the entire family can live on the income of the father, or whether the mother or future mother can stay home with their children, as almost all of them want to do, or whether the family can afford to educate the children.
Therefore, in their fight to improve and ease the situation of working people and their families, the unions are concerned not only about material things and not only about day-to-day matters. By creating the appropriate material preconditions, they also want to take care that the individual and the family are in the position to develop themselves intellectually, as is in keeping with human dignity.
Source: Press Statement by Maria Weber, Main Department “Women in the DGB,” on the Working Woman and the Social Situation of the Family (August 30, 1960), in Informationsdienst der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der katholischen deutschen Frauen [Information Service of the Working Group of Catholic German Women], no. 8 (1960), pp. 6-9; reprinted in Klaus-Jörg Ruhl, ed., Frauen in der Nachkriegszeit 1945-1963 [Women in the Postwar Era, 1945-1963]. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, pp. 219-23.
Translation: Kelly McCullough