The ILO Urges the German Government to Guarantee Trade Union Rights

Following complaints of FAU Berlin, the UN workers' organisation, the ILO reinforces the rights of minority unions.

In its report from November 2011, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) demands the German government to ensure that the Freie Arbeiterinnen und Arbeiter-Union (FAU) could represent the interests of their members, in accordance with Conventions 87 and 98. The Committee on Freedom of Organization of this UN organisation in particular defends the right of free speech for FAU Berlin, the right to access premises in any companies they have members in and the right to participate in workers' councils, if the number of members is representative on the company level.

To safeguard the interests of so -called minor unions, the German government has been asked to inform the ILO as soon as the legislative initiative against multiple collective agreements within one company gets taken up again. The German government has officially declared the end of this initiative.

The ILO reacted to a complaint by the FAU from April 2010 (Nr.: 2805, FAU against the German government on compliance with Conventions 87 and 98). This demand was a reaction to two court decisions of the higher labour court and the higher court of Berlin, in which the local FAU syndicate had not only been denied the right to continue a labour conflict but also to call themselves a union.

As a result, FAU Berlin was not only pushed aside as a possible partner for collective bargaining, but also denied participation in council and staff meetings. Several union representatives have been confronted with orders to stay away from the company in current and older labour conflicts. They have been accused of a breach of domestic peace two times.

"We welcome the decision of an international committee as the ILO. It not only strengthens our position in present labour conflicts but also the position of all those who fight for the establishment of militant base unions in this country", said Andreas Förster, secretary of the FAU Berlin.

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