When the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in May 1949, a major cornerstone of its cooperative and stable system of labor relations was already in place. Over a month earlier, the Collective Agreements Act had come into effect, and
to this day, virtually unchanged, it has been the foundation upon which trade unions and employers’ associations have autonomously set the standards for wages and working conditions in contracts negotiated at the sectoral level (Flächentarifvertrag)…

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