German union demands: Nationalize critical infrastructureGerman union demands: Nationalize critical infrastructure
German union demands: Nationalize critical infrastructure

July 4, 2024 – Stock market listings in Asia and Europe are positive today. And tThe demands and verbal attacks of the German Trade Union (DGB) to bring about the nationalization of critical infrastructure in Germany seem to come from long-gone communist times and are clearly not thought through to the end.

In this stainless steel espresso

What are the stock markets doing today?

Since little can be expected from the United States today due to the July 4 holiday, it is worth looking at other regions of the world. In Asia in particular, the markets reacted to positive signals from the United States with share prices rising to their highest level in 27 months. And the markets in Europe also opened optimistically today. The German DAX, as well as the pan-European STOXX 600 and the markets in the United Kingdom, were up at the start of trading.

German union demands: Nationalize critical infrastructure

The German trade unions, in particular the Federation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB), recently published a position paper on the energy transition and the development of electricity prices in Germany. A few days ago, the DGB then criticized the failed nationalization of a large part of the German electricity grid with harsh verbal attacks. And called for critical infrastructure in Germany to be placed under state control.

The DGB reports in the accompanying newsletter that Germany would have to pay a cumulative investment requirement of several tens of billions of dollars when buying back the electricity grids.

Of course, the DGB does not mention in its newsletter that Germany would then have to earn back those 100 billion euros elsewhere, for example through tax increases, and that the members of the German trade unions would then have to pay the grid costs in another way.

What actually is critical infrastructure in Germany?

Calls for nationalization of critical infrastructure, which in Germany include not only energy, water, waste management, government and administration, but also transport, traffic, food, finance and insurance, information and telecommunications technology, health, media and culture, are reminiscent of communist forms of government and could quickly turn into a bottomless pit. Ultimately, someone could call for nationalization of oligopolistic steel production structures – even if they explicitly do not represent critical infrastructure.

More nationalization means more communism

For the parties to collective bargaining, the right to freedom of association in the German constitution stipulates that interference in collective bargaining, even by the state, is not permitted. However, why the DGB thinks it should intervene in political events and in return campaign for non-functioning communist structures remains questionable.

Following the DGB’s call to nationalise critical infrastructure, we wonder what farmers’ organisations would think if their farms, as critical infrastructure, were now also placed under central management and continued as collective farms.

Latest news