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Die sozio-oekonomische Bedeutung der gewerkschaftlichen Organisation der Arbeitnehmerschaft für eine freiheitliche und soziale Gesellschaft – gestern und heute

The paper deals with the importance of trade unions in former times and at the present time. The author compares the living conditions of working people, the forms and conditions of labor markets and the state of enterprises in the second half of the 19th century as essential causes of the trade unions rise with the present situation and deals with the question, whether the differences are so essential that society could and should renounce the functions of trade unions without causing losses of welfare. He argues that the improvement of the economic and social circumstances during the 20th century would not justify restrictions of trade union activities. Without trade unions monopsonistic and oligopsonistic forms of labor markets would revive, the wage level would fall. The capitalistic state of factories and enterprises has not changed essentially. Therefore the countervailing power of trade unions seems useful in relation to distributions policy as well as to protecting the workers rights. Trade unions are organizations, which have improved the position of workers in the labor markets and within the factories. They also essentially influenced the coming up and development of the welfare state. Who else than the trade unions should pay attention to the task of avoiding that the burdens of social reforms in the first line and above all are imposed to the working people and their families?

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Paper provided by Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 268.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Handle: RePEc:aug:augsbe:0268
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