The German Model & Works Councils
December 27, 2010 9:41 AM Subscribe
Wondering at the route US vs. German unemployment has taken, I found some clues here and there, but the overriding factor seems to be the German model and works councils.
Under the German model, unions are organized at the industry level and co-exist with works councils at both the plant and company levels. These unions negotiate wage determination with employers' associations. The strength of this setup is the cooperation among unions and management councils. This is unique among Western countries, which have been marked by either substantial weakening of union powers (such as in the United States and United Kingdom) over the last twenty years, or consistent union conflict (such as in France and Italy, where unions have remained strong)...Not quite the same thing as your typical year-end review/evaluation + bonus, cf. other alternative corporate structures that better align labor/management relations and incentives, such as co-ops & employee ownership, oh and also btw wrt lenders and borrowers.
The system of vocational training is perhaps the most important component of the German model, and is still very prevalent in the German educational system. In Germany, there is a much heavier emphasis on apprenticeships for skilled positions, taught by expert worker/instructors. As such, there is a lower percentage of university students in Germany when compared to other Western countries, and a much lower percentage of persons entering the workforce for on-the-job training.
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