Historical Studies in Industrial Relations

After the 1910 Eight-Week Lockout: ‘Flächentarifvertrag’ in the German Construction Industry

Historical Studies in Industrial Relations (2020), 41, (1), 65–84.

Abstract

The greatest industrial dispute before the First World War in Germany, a national lockout in the construction industry, lasting eight weeks and involving up to 245,000 workers, ended with a defeat of the German Construction Employers’ Federation - Deutscher Arbeitgeberbund für das Baugewerbe - on 18 June 1910 after a tripartite process of arbitration. This industrial dispute about a new national framework contract - Flächentarifvertrag - on collective employment relations and bargaining in the construction industry heralded a new stage in labour-capital relations. It led to a substantial unification and concentration of workers’ organizations and divided the employer’s organization, benefiting, on the one hand, the sectoral labour unions to the detriment of local unions, and, on the other, the joint-stock corporations to the detriment of smaller, individually owned companies.

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Author details

Janssen, Jörn