The cooperation and partnership of labor unions and employer associations is considered a
fundamental principal of the German social market economy and has contributed to the country’s
resilience during the economic and financial crisis and Germany’s economic strength. For
example, the government, employers and employees implemented together the so-called short
term working scheme, which allowed troubled companies to retain their workers on shorter work
schedule and reduced pay during economically difficult times and thus save jobs.
Labor unions are independent of the government and political parties but are important political players