GHDI logo

German Trade Unions Oppose the Dismantling of the Welfare State (March 5, 1997)

In this action program, the Confederation of German Trade Unions [Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund or DGB] called for reducing unemployment and increasing social justice through deficit spending, shorter work hours, job redistribution, and better employment centers.

print version     return to document list previous document      next document

page 1 of 3

For Work and Social Justice
The Action Program of the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB)

This action program constitutes the platform for the work of the DGB and its member unions in the coming years.

Our central challenge remains the same: reducing the number of registered unemployed by fifty percent by the beginning of the next millennium. We are holding fast to this goal. In the next four years, it is both necessary and possible to create at least two million jobs with pay that is commensurate with performance and humane working conditions. New jobs must be equally available to women and men.

Cutting unemployment in half, however, is not possible with neoconservative restoration politics, with the policies of the federal government to date.

It is possible within the framework of a socio-ecological reform strategy that gives equal priority to the creation of attractive [new] jobs and the just distribution of existing ones. This can be achieved through new policies that combine a determined push for future investments in the Federal Republic and Europe with an effective initiative to reduce individual and collective working hours.

We want to fight unemployment and create social justice.

That is the goal of this action plan.


1. Implement Social and Ecological Reforms

New jobs are created, above all, through investments and innovation. We advocate social and ecological reforms in order to open up new areas of employment, especially in the environmental sector, transportation, the development and application of new technologies, and industry and the service sector.

We demand:

- The strengthening of domestic demand through a just income and assets policy and through investment programs for environmentally responsible construction, the expansion of an efficient infrastructure, and future-oriented transportation systems.
- Dialogue-oriented industrial and service-sector policies that promote growth industries and create the necessary conditions to continue developing existing industries in an ecological and socially responsible manner.
- A techno-political initiative that, above all, increases budget resources for research and technology to four percent of the federal budget in order to promote public and private research. [The] research transfer must be improved and accelerated.
- An innovation-oriented modernization and growth initiative among all EU member states that corresponds with the White Book of the European Commission in the amount of 0.8 percent of the respective GDP of the EU member states.
- The creation of a circular economy based on product longevity and the conservation of resources.
- Ecologically binding commitments by companies, the further development of regulatory law, and an eco-social reorganization of our tax and duties system.
- The further development of regional structural policies. To this end, businesses, politicians, and trade unions should consult on models for socially responsible and environmentally sound regional development.
- The modernization and development of public infrastructure and public services in order to make public services both more effective and more competitive, and also to expand services offered to citizens.

Eco-social reforms must be implemented, and they must be effective. The difficult situation in the new federal states demands special impulses. That is why we are taking action for a joint Initiative for the Reconstruction of the East [Aufbau Ost].

first page < previous   |   next > last page