September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Right to Organize

Topic: 2024-Right to Organize
Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Aanya Dogra

Committee: International Labour Organization
Topic: Right to Organize
Country: Germany
Delegate: Aanya Dogra, Forest Hills Northern High School

Employees have been unhappy with employer conditions for a long time. The first unions were created in the 1800s. The first strikes occurred way before this, estimated towards the end of the 20th dynasty, under Pharaoh Ramses III in ancient Egypt. While it is important to ensure that worker’s rights are protected and they can stand up for themselves, negative effects that come from this must be mitigated.
Germany is currently struggling with increasing strikes, though they are still fewer than neighboring countries like France and the UK. Intense labour shortages are occurring, bringing down an already vulnerable German economy. Unions are pressing for higher wages and improved working conditions to help workers deal with a cost-of-living crisis emanating through Germany, climbing 8.8%. Wages have dropped for three consecutive years since 2020.
Even though strikes may hurt our economy, it is important for Unions to have the righ to organize. Under the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 8 states that “all Germans shall have the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed without prior notification or permission” and under Article 9 states that “all Germans shall have the right to form societies and other associations.” Any obstruction of these laws through threat, promise, or other means is illegal. Employers and work councils must ensure that any discrimination is avioded. Germany also abides by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Protection of the Right to Organize. In addition to unions, Germany requires a works council, or Betriebsrat, for companies with over 5 employees. It is a group of elected employees that collaborate with management on behlaf of the company’s workforce. This council works to protect employee rights, may increase employee wages, give employees a unified voice for negotiations, and strengthen relationships between employers and employees. A union and works council are different bodies but both work to ensure worker’s rights are not violated.
Germany will continue to maintain our protection for our workers, but would like to find solutions that would not harm the nation’s economy. The right to strike and organize are essential to maintaining happy citizens. Germany looks forward to working with nations on this topic.

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