German employment law provides for the legal relationships between individual employees and their employers, and also the legal relationships between the employees representative bodies and employers. It links the competition among entrepreneurs to the reconciliation of diverging interests within companies. Those of the collective wage agreements that were negotiated or renegotiated in the past few years were concluded in a spirit of moderation, proving that trade unions and companies alike keep the economic situation in mind in making their demands.
- Employers have formed regional associations; in line with the principle of industrial organization, they are independent of one another.
- The Federal Confederation of German Employers Associations (BDA) is the umbrella organization of the employers associations.
- Employers from all business sectors may become members, including industrial enterprises, trading firms, skilled crafts, banks, insurance companies, agricultural operations as well as traffic and infrastructure organizations.
- The BDA represents the companies in their function as employer; in other words, trade unions negotiate with the employers association.
- The Confederation of Employers` and Business Associations of Berlin and Brandenburg is the UVB
- In Germany, trade unions are not affiliated with any political party.
- The trade unions represent the workers in various industries separately.
- On average, less than 25 % of employees are members of a trade union.
- The Confederation of German Trade Unions is the largest trade union organization in Germany. It comprises of eight individual trade unions and has approximately 6.1 million members (2015).