Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB)
The Federation of German Trade Unions (FGTU) is the mouthpiece and representative of the unions in their dealings with political decisionmakers, parties and professional associations at federal, regional and local levels. It coordinates activities of all the trade unions, but does not conclude any collective agreements.
- At international level, the FGTU cooperates with the European Conferederation of Trade Unions and with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The FGTU also represents the German trade union movement at international institutions like the EU and the UN.
- The FGTU has adopted the principle of the unitarian union. It is pluralistic and independent, but by no means politically neutral. It takes a stand in the interests of workers and employees.
- The member unions of the FGTU conclude collective agreements with the employers of their particular sector. These relate to income, working hours, holidays, etc. In the case of an industrial dispute, the FGTU organises the strike and pays strike benefits to union members.
- The unions support the establishment of works councils, assist workers/employees in solving conflicts at work and represent them in disputes with their employers. Union members benefit from legal protection free of charge.