(Election promises; 06-03; p.2)
Once more the topic "reforming the social
state" has been discussed within its different policy fields;
decisions will probably come up in the months to come.
Not unmentioned shall become however that the
German trade union IG Metall - one of the biggest, comprising
employees of car-manufacturers, machine-builders, etc. - has called
off a month-long strike in Eastern Germany.
The demand of less working hours - which is practised in Western
Germany as a matter of course - could not be forced through. Eastern
German managers and entrepreneurs now have to find solutions with
their respective employees on a firm-internal basis.
- Usually, work conditions in Germany are negotiated between trade
unions and entrepreneurs' organisations; employees, not organised
do profit as well from such negotiated contracts, because of an
anti-discrimination ruling that prohibits differentiating between
organised and non-organised ones.
It is a bit early for an annual balance, but
recently it became difficult to distinguish programmes and demands
of political parties from each other. Readers who understand German
may have a look at the "Wahlomat".
This machine has been offered for the federal elections in 2002
by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (translated: German
Federal Centre for Political Education, a federation-funded non-profit
organisation for the enhancement of political knowledge) and works
like this: statements about a variety of topics are given on which
one may decide; in a second step, the compilation of one's own
answers is compared to the then statements of the parties and
the share of similarity is presented; finally, the answers can
be compared to the ones of parties, separately. - Interested citizens
even might like to compare the then statements of parties to the
(The Wahlomat is not offered at the moment by
its authors; you may therefore download the programme here
as self-extracting .exe-file. - While the programme is not dangerous
at all, the legal notice must be given that downloading and working
with the programme is at your own risk.)
(end of article)