Books by Andy Markovits

The Politics of the West German Trade Unions
Strategies of class and interest representation in growth and crisis

The politics of the West German trade unions - English Version

This book assesses the politics of the West German trade unions in the context of their larger role as major actors in the polity of a democratic Federal Republic of Germany. By focusing on the historical realities of the labor movement both before and after 1945, the study concentrates on explaining to what extent organized labor helped solidify, yet at the same time challenged the dominant structures of politics and authority in German history's most extensive and longest-lasting democracy.

The book explains the immediate framework wherein the unions operate, notably the collective bargaining system, the legal structure of industrial relations, labor's relations to the employers, political parties and the state, and its own organizational set-up. Concering the latter, the study makes a special effort to differentiate various political trends and strategies which have consistently determined intra-union cooperation as well as rivalries. By analyzing the metalworkers' union - the largest single union in the non-Communist world - the construction workers' union, the printers' union and that of the chemical workers, the study shows how the industrial reality of each helps shape its political outlook and strategic thinking. In addition to objective criteria such as each union's industrial setting and its particular history, special attention is also given to more contigent factors such as personal leadership which also contribute to union behavior. The study concludes cautiously gauging the West German trade unions' future in an increasingly complex and uncertain world.

Other Versions

This book is also published in Spanish.

The politics of the West German trade unions - Spanish Version Please also visit Andy Markovits'
official University of Michigan website