The Chamber of Labour represents the interests of 3 million employees and consumers in Austria.
Fundamental research for the benefit of workers and consumers
The Chambers of Labour employ a staff of highly qualified experts who act as a think-tank for employees' interests, conducting studies on a wide range of relevant issues. The Chambers of Labour thus always have an up-to-date scientific basis for effective policy-making on behalf of employees.
They closely co-operate with the other Austrian Social Partners in conducting and publishing joint studies on social and economic issues. The results of these studies feature prominently in Austria's political discourse and frequently serve as policy guidelines.
Participation in and control of legislation
It is through the Chambers of Labour that Austrian employees and consumers participate in the legislative process. The Chambers evaluate draft legislation from the point of view of employees' interests, make proposals for amendments and are subsequently involved in the implementation of these laws. Often impulses for legislative initiatives emanate from the Chambers of Labour and their experts, whose research continually underlines the need for legislative action.
The Chambers of Labour offer a wide range of services to their members. The Chambers' experts provide information and advice on different issues such as labour law, social insurance, tax law, women's and family policy, worker protection, the protection of apprentices and young workers, unemployment insurance, and consumer protection.
In labour-law disputes between employees and employers the Chambers provide legal assistance ranging from oral or written interventions with employers to free representation of employees before the Labour and Social Tribunals. Education and culture are another mainstay of the Chambers' service activities. They provide considerable sums of money for education, vocational training and further education as well as the training of officials in the labour movement, and organise exhibitions, film screenings, theatre performances and concerts.
At the European level, the Chamber of Labour has delegated representatives to the Economic Social Committee, the ECSC Consultative Committee and various committees and advisory bodies dealing with issues of social and education policy.