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Legal restrictions and/or effective practices of exclusion of minorities regarding membership of and participation in trade unions

Key Area:
Discrimination, Equality
23/12/2011 - 12:50
Short Answer

Since 2006 all employees have the full active and passive right to vote for the workers' council and for the Chamber of Labour.

Qualitative Info

As the freedom of association and assembly is independent of citizenship there were no legal restriction regarding the membership of migrants in trade unions. However, from 1947 till 2006 non-Austrian citizens were excluded from the passive right to vote for the workers' council and for the Chamber of Labour. On November 23rd, 2005, the Austrian parliament passed a law granting employees from other EU- and EEA-countries and from third countries the eligibilty to these elections. The amendment was due to infringement proceedings against Austria resulting in a decision, that the exclusion of employees from other EU, EEA and from third countries is incompatible with Community Law.

A study carried out on behalf of the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions found out that the proportion of migrants in the workers' council is increasing, but there is a lack of exact data. The study also revealed that the higher the positions in the unions the fewer are officers with migration background.


Groups affected/interested Ethnic minorities, Linguistic minorities
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Employment - labour market
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