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CentrePiece article
In brief: Unions in Germany: Better Placed than their British Counterparts?
Claus Schnabel
June 2005
Paper No' CEPCP181:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 10 (2) Summer 2005

Like British unions, unions in Germany face the serious problem of crumbling membership. Union membership peaked in 1981 and has fallen ever since. Union density too has fallen with less than a quarter of German employees now members. And as in Britain, the sustained decline in membership and density seems to have been the consequence of both external factors - such as changes in the composition of the workforce - and internal factors - unions' own structures and policies.

This paper has been published as:
Claus Schnabel, 'Trade Unions in Germany: On the Road to Perdition?' in Susan Fernie and David Metcalf (eds.) Trade Unions: Resurgence or Demise?, Routledge, 2005.