Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 07:38:04 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Rich Winkel <>
Subject: German Unions To Continue Campaign

/** 254.0 **/
** Topic: German Unions To Continue Campaign **
** Written 10:26 PM Jun 20, 1996 by labornews in **
From: Institute for Global Communications <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 16:18:49 GMT<

German Cutbacks: Unions Pledge Sustained Campaign

ICEM UpDate, No.34/1996, 19 June 1996

The following is from the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM):

German unions will be maintaining their campaign against the federal government's austerity programme (see also ICEM UPDATE 26/1996 and 33/1996).

In a joint letter now being distributed to their members, the Presidents of the German chemical, paper and ceramic workers' union IG Chemie-Papier-Keramik, the mining and energy union IG Bergbau und Energie and the leather workers' union Gewerkschaft Leder hail the success of last Saturday's massive labour demonstration in Bonn. More than 350,000 trade unionists rallied there in protest against the government's plans.

The chemical, mine and leather unions are currently moving towards a merger in Germany. IG Bergbau President Hans Berger is also President of the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). IG Chemie President Hubertus Schmoldt is an ICEM Vice-President.

In the letter they co-signed Gewerkschaft Leder's President Werner Dick, Schmoldt and Berger describe the government austerity package as anything but a contribution to employment or to the maintenance of Germany as an industrial location.

Rather, they say, the plans represent a dramatic turning point. They accuse the government of preparing the ground for a change of system: a purely market economy instead of a social market economy, and the dismantlement rather than the modernisation of social security provisions.

The unions will continue their protests—and, the three Presidents emphasise, they will further step up their organising drives: The more there are of us, the greater will be the impact of our protest. So in the coming weeks and months, we must considerably strengthen our recruitment of members.

The three unions are still willing to compromise—but not to be dictated to. We did not want this confrontation, but we are not going to sidestep it or step back from it.

They are ready to resume talks on the basis of the job-creating agreements reached between labour, employers and government on 23 January at Chancellor Kohl's office. But, as the unions point out, these are the agreements which the federal government and the hawks in the employer camp no longer want to know about.