Globalisation, Industrial Conflict and Social Partnership in Germany and China

Symposium on Saturday 29.11.2008

Host : Otto-Suhr-Institute (OSI) for Political Science of the Free University of Berlin
Metalworkers union IG Metal Berlin, workgroup internationalism
In cooperation with the German Asia Foundation, Asienstiftung, Essen

Participants: from China:
Ms. Lin Yanling, professor, Labour Relation Department, China Institute of Industrial Relations (CIIR) Beijing
Ms. Zhang Fangwei, associate professor, Scientific Research Vice-chief, CIIR
Ms. Zheng Qiao, professor, Labor Relation Department, CIIR
Mr. Chen Weiguang, Vice Director of Guangzhou People’s Congress Standing Committee and Chairman of Guangzhou Federation of Trade Unions
Mr. Liu Huilian, Chairman of Trade Union of Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd.
Mr. Zhang Long, Vice Section Chief of Guangzhou Federation of Trade Unions
from Germany:
Trade Union representatives and members from Berlin, labour activists and academics partially some of those, that have visited China on one of the 3 trips 2005-2007
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Bodo Zeuner
Mr. Peter Franke, Asienstiftung

The symposium is mainly meant as an introduction and overview on the situation in Germany. It should help the Chinese guests to put in context (contextualise) the coming encounters and conversations with workers, labour and trade union activists, shop-stewards and representatives of other social initiatives (e.g. unemployed, foreign migrant labour) as well as local trade union or government officials during their 12 days visit of Germany. It should also reflect those questions sent to us earlier. On the other hand the Chinese guests will have the opportunity to explain the concept of harmonious society in China in reference to labour.

Tentative programme
time topic speaker
9:30 Welcome and introduction
10:00 – 11:30 Globalisation and the German labour market. – An outline of the German system of industrial relations and changing economic structure of since 1945. Prof. Dr. Bodo Zeuner, retired professor of Free University Berlin, Otto Suhr Institut
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee break
11:45 – 13:15 Challenges for German trade unions: Globalisation and Epochenbruch (i.e. hegemony of neo-liberalism and the end of fordism, change of class structure)- Dieter Scholz, chairman of the DGB Berlin-Brandenburg state district
13:15 – 14:30 Lunch break
14:30 – 16:00 Labour conflicts and the dismantling of the welfare state in Germany – Counterstrategies of the labour and trade union movement Wolfgang Schaumberg, labour and trade union activist
16:00 – 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 – 17:45 Social Partnership in China – the concept of Harmonious Society in Industrial Relations Prof. Lin Yanling, China Institute for Industrial Relations

Venue: IG Metall Haus, Berlin Kreuzberg