Equality between Capital and the Work Force through Co-Determination – Utopia or Reality? (1973)
Under the Industrial Constitution Law of January 15, 1972, factory committees were given greatly expanded rights of participation, particularly in negotiations regarding “social matters.” In his inaugural address of January 18, 1973, Chancellor Willy Brandt announced the further expansion of co-determination rights in accordance with the “Principle of Equal Rights and Equal Status for Employees and Shareholders.” On February 22, 1974, the Brandt government presented the Bundestag with a draft of a corresponding law. The planned law proved controversial, though, and the draft had to be revised numerous times. In the end, the Co-Determination Law was passed by the Bundestag on March 18, 1976. According to the law, employers and employees had to be represented equally on the boards of firms employing more than 2,000 people. Photo by Gerd Mingram [Germin].