Information on Military Unionization and Organization

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-09-16.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                         DCCUMENT RESUME
03529 - [A26'3841]

Information on Military Unionization and Organization.
FPCD-77-55; E-163422. September 16, 1977. 36 pp. + appendix (2
Report to the Congress: by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General.
Issue Area: Personnel anagemert and Compensation (300).
Contact: Federal Personnel and Compensation Div.
Budget Function: National Defense: Department of Defense -
    Military (except procurement   contracts) (051); National
    Defense: Military Assistance 052).
Organizaticn Concerned: Department of Defense: Department of
    State; Department of the Navy; Department of the Army;
    Departmeit of the Air orce.
Congressional Relevance: House Committee on Armed Services;
    Senate Ccmmittee on Armed ervices; Congress.
          The prospect of U.S. military unionization has become a
distinct and controversial issue. One large public employee
union has amended its constitution to permit military
membership. Numerous bills have been introdu'ced in Congress to
prohibit such unicnization. Findings/Conclusions:    any Eropean
countries permit military personnel to join unions or form
as ;ociations to deal collectively on matters affecting their
living and working conditions. The Netherlands, West Germany,
Denmark, and Sweden all permit some form of organized
representations. Except in Sweden, none of the unions or
associations h    the ight to strike. Involvement or
interference in military matters is generally prohibited. Unions
and associations appear to have contributed to improvements in
pay and benefits a.d to the genera. working and living
conditions cf military personnel. however, since the military
pay systems are generally linked to private and public sector
pay, improvements may have resulted without military
organizations' involvement. Military officials feel that
personnel practices have improvd communication and have
resolved personnel problems and conflicts. These practices did
not seem to affect military discipline, efficiency, or morale.
                   REFORT TO THE CONGRESS

        y.'   .- . OF TUE UNITED STA TES

                   Information On Military
                   Unionization And Organization

                   The prospect of U.S. military unionization
                   has become a distinct and controversial issue.
                   One large public employee union has arnend-
                   ed its constitution to permit military member-
                   ship; while, in the Congress, numerous bills
                   have been introduced to prohibit such union-

                   This study was made to provide additional in-
                   formation rather than to support a posi-
                   tion for or against military unionization. The
                   report describes military unionization and
                   organization in selected Europeai countries
                   and discusses some basic aspects of the U.S.
                   military unionization issue.

                   FPCD-77-   i5                              SEPTEMBER 16, 1977
                                         THE UNITED STATES
                          WASHINGTON. D.C. tM1S


To the President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives
     Because of growing interest in unionization in
                                                      the U.S.
Armed Forces, we studied mlitary unionization
forms of organized representation of military and other
four European countries. We also discussed somepersonnel in
basic aspects of the unionization issue in the    of the
                                                United States.
     We made this review pursuant to the Budget
ing Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and Account-
ing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67).                   and Audit-

     We are sending ccpies of this report to the Director,
O1fice of Management ard Budget, and the Secret
                                              1ies of
State, Defense, and mlitan

                            Comptroller General
                            of the United States
                                         AND ORGANIZATION
           Many European countries permit military per-
           sonnel to join unions or form associations
           to deal collectively on matters affecting their
           living and working conditions. A similar organ-
           ization of the U.S. military has become the
           subject of considerable interest by the Con-
           gress, labor unions, and the public.

          The report does not support a position for or
          against military unionization.  However, it
          does discuss ilitary personnel practices in
          the Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, and
          Sweden, which all permit sme form of or-
          ganized representation. It should be noted
          that there are many differences--social, polit-
          ical, military, etc.--between the United
          States and the countries studied as well as
          between the individual countries. Because
          of these differences, the experiences in
          these countries cannot be directly related
          to the United States.

          Numerous bills have been introduced in the
          Congress to prevent military unionization.
          On the other hand, at least one large union
          has considered organizing the U.S. military.
          Various organizations have explored the im-
          plications of military unionization, which
          is likely to continue to be controversial.

          Although the type of representation (union,
          association, council, ombudsman) varied in the
          countries studied, it was generally related
          to pay and living and working conditions.
          Except in Sweden, none of the unions or as-
          sociations have the right to strike.  Involve-
          ment or interference in military matters--
          operations, organization, and discipline--is
          generally prohibited.

coer   should   noted ha.       1
Unions and associations appear to have contrib-
uted to improvements in pay and benefits and to
the general working and living conditions of
military personnel. However, since the mili-
tary pay systems are generally linked to pri-
vate and public sector pay, improvements may
have resulted without military organizations'

In all countries, the unions and associations
operate within a legal framework and appear to
have the positive cooperation and support of
government and military authorities. Military
officials feel that personnel practices have
improved communication and have resolved per-
sonnel problems and conflicts. These prac-
tices did not seem to affect military disci-
pline, efficiency, and morale. A number of
U.S. Embassies generally agreed with these
Some problems are associated with unioniza-
tion. Consultations, negotiations, and meet-
ings between military management and person-
nel representatives tend to slow decisionmaking.
However, these practices are viewed as a way
to communicate and resolve problems.

Work-hour restrictions and related overtime
compensation impose some restrictions on
management flexibility, particularly train-
ing. A number of officials in the countries
studied commented that because of these
restrictions, the desired level of training
may be difficult to attain.
Overtime also affects the budget. For example,
the Danish Defense Command has reduced its
scheduling of training exercises which would
involve oveltime.

U.S. military personnel have no formalized
means to collectively address issues of living
and working conditions as could be addressed
by a union. Many forums are available with-
in tne chain of command for consideration
of complaints and problems of military per-

           Current Department of Defense policy prohibits
           any negotiation or bargaining on behalf of
           members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
           Numerous bills have been introduced in the
           Congress prohibiting unionization by making
           it unlawful for military personnel to join a
           union and for unions to solicit military
           members. The Department of Defense 43 op-
           posed to military unionization and the Sec-
           retary of Defense has stated that he will
           try l:o deter such activity.
           However, because of possible legal problems
           related to legislation which would prohibit
           military unionization, the Department of
           Defense prefers restrictions based upon
           departmental policy.

Tom Shoo                      iii

    1       INTRODUCTION                                1
    2      THE NETHERLANDS                              3
               The Netherlands Armed Forces             3
               Development of military associations     4
               Results of organized representation      8
   3       FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY                 9
               The German Armed Forces                 9
               Development of unions                   9
               Results of organized representation    14
   4       DENMARK                                    15
               The Danish Armed Forces                15
               Development of unions                  16
               Results of organized representation    20
   5       SWEDEN                                     22
               The Swedish Armed Forces               22
               Development of unions                  23
               Results of organized representation    27
   6       SELECTED STUDIES                           28
               Defense Manpower Commission            28
               Department of Defense                  28
               Quadrennial Review of Military Com-
                 pensition                            30
               American Federation of Government
                 Employees                            31
   7       SUMMARY                                    33
               Results of organized military rpre-
                 sentation                            33
               U.S. military unionization             34

   I       Memorandum dated '-cember 20, 1976, from
             the Secretary    )efense                 37
AFGE   American Federation of Government Employees
GAO    General Accounting Office
NATO   North Atlantic Treaty Organization
                          CHAPTER 1


     Many European countries permit military personnel to
join unions or form associations to deal collectively on mat-
ters affecting their living and working conditions.  Through
various formal and informal arrangements between the repre-
sentational organizations and the governments, the military
unions and associations represent service personnel on a
variety of matters.

     A similar organization  f U.S. military personnel has
become the subject of considerable interest.  The American
Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has amended its
constitution to permit military membership.  Numerous bills
have been introduced in the Congress to prohibit such union-
Ization and there is increasing discussion of military union-
izaticn.  Many organizations have considered military union-
ization.  The Department of Defense and the Quadrennial
Review of Military Compensaticn have studied it.  The De-
fense Manpower Commission in its April 1976 report to the
President opposed the possibility, and the American Enterrrise
Institute for Public Policy Research published a po and con
forum on military unionization as part of its defense-related

     'he Department of Defense is opposed to unionization in
the U.S. Armed Forces.  The Department's policy on negotia-
tion and bargaining in the Armed Forces is contained in a Sec-
retary of Defense memorandum dated December 20, 1976.  (See
app. I.)

     Because of congressional interest, we studied the ex-
periences of four European countries having some form of
military representational practice.  We also reviewed studies
dealing with the issue of U.S. military unionization.  We
studied bargaining and consultation processes, resultant
achievements, and goals of the rpresentational organizations
in the hope that our observations will be useful in consider-
ing unionizaticn in the U.S. military.  There are many dif-
ferences--social, political, military, etc.--between the
United States and the countries studied as well as between
the individual countries.  Because of these d fferences, the
experiences in those countries cannot be directly related to
the United States.  The countries studied are the Nether-
lands, Federal Republic of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.   Our
study included an analysis of available reports, including
selected North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) studies on
military unions in NATO countries and interviews with military,
governmental, and labor officials.  The references to foreign

laws in this report were derived from various books, studies,
government reports, and interviews with public officials in
the countries visited.
                             CHAPTER 2

                          THE NETKERLANDS

     In the Netherlands all military members are permitted to
join military associations.  The associations represent their
members' interests in broad policy issues such as pay, leave,
and working hours, through mandatory consultations at the
Ministry of Defense.  Issues are discussed before a decision
is made but the Minister of Defense's decisions are final.

     Military personnel do not have the right to strike and
there are provisions for suspending association activities
during wartime.

     Issues at the local unit level on implementing regula-
tions such as housing, meals, and job conditions are handled
by local commanders and unit councils.  The unit commander's
decisions are also final.


     Since, in crisis or wartime, most of the Dutch Armed
Forces are under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
commanders' control, their peacetime organization closely
parallels the allied command structure.  The Netherlands
defense organization is comprised of the Ministry of Defense
and the Royal Netherlands Army, Navy, and Air Force.

     The Ministry of Defense employs about 30,000 civilian
employees.  The Netherlands active duty military forces total
about 100,000 personnel.

                   Ntvy          Army       Air Force    Total

     Regulars     16,000        24,r0        14,000     54,000

     Conscripts    2,000        40,000        3,500     45,500

         Total    18,000        64,000       17,500     99,500

Defense expenditures

      Defense spending during 1975 was $2.9 billion, or 11.4
percent of total government expenditures of $25.8 billion.
Fromr 1972 through 1974, defense spending declined in relation
to :otal government expenditure for 2 of the 3 years.   Defense
spending, as a percentaqe of gross national product, remained
relatively constant at abuuot 3.4 percent from 1971 through 1974.


     In the Netherlands, appr        imately 4  percent of the
present civilian work force ol       4 million people are union
members   About 300,000 worker        belong to unaffiliated
unions, but the majority are orarnized       n three large labor

                                               Number of members
     Unaffiliated uinions                           300,000
     Netherlands Federation of                      618,000
       Trade Unions

     Netherlands Federation of                     405,000
       Catholic Trade Unions
     Netherlands Federation of                      240,000
       Protestant Trade Unions

         Total                                   1,563,000
     A royal decree of December 1919 established a central
committee for formal consultation between the government
and authorized public employee associations.

     Dutch military associations can be traced to the turn
of the century. One noncommissioned officers' association
was founded in 1898 to promote material interests of its
military members. From 1901 to the 1920s, other mili-:ary
associations emerged and organized into units for officers
and noncommissioned officers in the Army and Navy, bt did
not have consultation rights.  In 1921 the Navy was granted,
by royal decree, a formal consultation committee arrange-
ment. The Army, shortly thereafter, was also granted by
royal decree two formal consultation committees--one for
officers and one for enlisted men.

     The Civil Servants Act of 1921 and the Military Servants
Act of 1931 gave the consultation committees a statutory base.
The Military Servants Act required consultation between the
Ministry of Defense and the association before government
decisions on such matters as pay, leave, and working hours.
In April 1975 a royal decree expanded this definition to
include discussions on the general rules for establishing
training requirements, dro-s regulations, ard promotion and
assignment requirements. Military operation; are excluded
from consultation. Military personnel do noc have the right
to strike and there are provisions suspending association
activities during wartime.

      The consultation arrangement provides a regular channel
 for communication with the Minister of Defense and input into
 policy development, but is not a system of bilateral negotia-
 tion. The Minister of Defense makes the final decisions.

 Military association activities

      A total of 12 associations are involved in consulta-
tion:   3 officers' associations, organized along service
religious lines; 5 enlisted men's associations, organized and
service, rank, anC religious affiliation; and 2 conscript
associations, a military police association, and a reserve
officers' association.

     The goals of the military associations differ. The
largest conscript association and one noncommissioned officers'
association are primarily concerned with the material
being of their members, while many other associations well-
the military mission as most important.

     The associations are managed by military personnel
elected by the membership. Some associations are affiliated
with civilian unions, but their internal management is still
handled by the elected military personnel.

     The associations are managed by active military
nel who are granted leave with pay from their militaryperson-
     The 12 associations have a combined membership of almost
8e.000, or about 90 percent of all military personnel. In
proportion, associations represent more officers than enlisted
men. The association's membership dues vary. The conscripts
pay about $12 a year and the officers pay from $32 to $40
yea:. The Defense Department automatically deducts member-a
ship dues from an association member's pay and forwards it
to the association. It is not mandatory to join a military
association but any improvements t..e association achieves
benefit all military personnel.
The consultation process

     The institutionalized consultation process between
Ministry of Defense and the military associations is com-the
prised of formal and informal discussions.  Informal dis-
cussions are held monthly between the Ministry of Defense and
two representatives from each of the 12 associations. Prob-
lems, suggestions, and plans are discussed.

     Worthwhile conclusions from informal discussions are
signed for study to working groups within the Ministry of as-
Defense. Twice each month formal consultative discussions

held between the 12 associations and the Under Secretary of
State for Personnel Affairs. At this point, implementation
of new regulations is discussed. After discussion, proposed
regulations are sent to a Ministry of Defense committee for
formulation and final decision.  Promulgation of regulations
affecting the social and economic interests of military per-
sonnel does not require the associations' consent, but, if
such regulations involve the legal rights of military per-
sonnel, they are not valid if prior consultation was not made.

     The following chart describes the institutionalized
consultation process.

                           MIN ISTR Y
                              OF                FINAL DECISION


  MILITA                 MILITARY               MILITARY

     Through the consultation process, the associations have
achieved many benefits for military personnel.

     Military pay, in general, is not a critical issue be-
cause pay ates are adjusted according to a system based on
private industry wage trends, but conscript pay has improved
considerably.  Conscripts receive a gross pay of about $370
a month or about $250 after taxes, which is roughly equal to
the minimum wage in the Netherlands.  In 1966 conscripts were
paid about $22 a month. At that time conscript compensation
was considered ar allowance; now it is considered a wage.

     As stated, pay adjustments follow a trend system. Under
this system military and civil servants receive pay increases
equivalent to those of private industry firms employing
10,000 or more persons. A Defense Ministry official stated
that because of the trend system, there is not much discus-
sion about pay increases.

     Some noneconomic gains claimer by the associations in-
clude the abolition of the saluting requirement and more
liberal standards on hair styles. In general, spit-and-polish
standards have been relaxed   Improved leave and transporta-
tion regulations for return trips to the Netherlands for
Dutch soldiers stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany
have also resulted from the consultation process.

     The associations are concerned with the government's
plan to reduce spending. For example, military personnel,
until recently, received free lunches. The Ministry of De-
fense now requires military personnel to pay about $ for
their lunches. Military personnel have also been required
to contribute toward social security.

     Because of actions such as these, the associations are
concerned about a possible trend of reduced military benefits.

     Working hours is another concern of the associations.
Previously, military personnel were considered on duty 24
hours a day, 7 days a week. Members of the armed forces work
a standard duty week and are compensa' ed and giv- time off
for part of overtime worked cn weekends. Association memburs
are not satisfied with the prerent overtime policy and will
continue to try to revise work-hour regulations. Under cur-
rent policy, a serviceman who is equired to be on guard duty
for 24 hours over a weekend is given 1 day off during the
week and about $6 pay. If a serviceman must be on duty on
a weekend but does not actually work, he is paid about $4 but
gets no time off. This policy is the same for all services.

     Changes are also sought in military justice.  One con-
script association advocates overhaul of the system because
it feels that military personnel should be treated the same
as civilians. Currently, military ersonnel committing minor
offenses are punished by their commanding officer, who has
broad authority for setting punishment. Military personnel
committing major offenses are court-martialed under the Code
of Military Justice and are permitted one appeal. Military
and civilian courts are completely separated--that is, no
appeal can be made from a military to a civilian court and
there is no third-party review outside the military system.

     The conscript associations also support revision of the
draft policy and reduction of the period of conscript service
from 14 to 12 months.

The unit council concept

     Unit councils have been established at unit levels to
deal with local matters. This concept is not related to the

consultation process between the Ministry of Defense and
the associations.

     To resolve local issues, the councils meet with the unit
commanders to discuss problemb and solutions. At present,
the commanders' decisions are final.  Some prchlems that
might be discussed are working hours, industrial safety, and
after-duty transportation.

      Currently, all military members are represented by coun-
cils.   In the Army and Air Force, unit members elect council
representatives, while Navy commanders appoint council members.


     Publicity about military association activities and
achievements in the Netherlands has given the impression that
the associations inte,'fere with military operations. In fact,
the associations are not permitted any involvement in or have
any impact on discipline in military operations. For example,
30 soldiers refused to participate in a winter exercise be-
cause they thought it was too cold. The exercise continued
and the soldiers were court-martialed and sentenced to mili-
tary prison.

     Defense Ministry officials feel that morale of the forces
has been improved primarily because the associations can dis-
-uss service problems.  The Ministry of Defense also feels
that the relaxation of spit-and-polish standards will not
negatively affect military discipline. U.S. Embassy person--
nel indicated that association activities have not negatively
affected military readiness.

                            CHAPTER 3


     German military personnel have many forms of representa-
tion. But each representational practice is subordinate to
military command and discipline.

     In Germany's public sector, unions bargain on wages and
working conditions, and the negotiated terms are extended to
military personnel by the Parliament. A military association
and a union consult and lobby regularly with the government
for the special interests of military personnel, while om-
budsmen and personnel councils represent military personnel
in matters affecting working and living conditions.

     Military personnel do not have the right to strike.
However, unlike the Netherlands, Germany has no legal provi-
sion suspending union activities in wartime.


     There are about 1,700,000 personnel in the German Armed
Forces--about 495,000 active duty military, 1,133,000 re-
servists, and 20,000 border police. Distribution of the
active duty forces follows.
                  Army         Navy     Air Force     Total
     Regulars     168,000     28,000     72,000      268,000
     Conscripts   177,000     11,000     39,000      227,000
         Total    345,000     39,000    111,000      495,000
     The Federal Republic of Germany spelit more than $19.7
billion, or almost 30 percent of total government expenditure,
in 1975 for defense. Defense spending, as a portion of total
government expenditure, remained relatively constant from
1972 to 1975--about 31 percent (excluding financial assistance
to West Berlin). As a percentage of gross national product,
defense spending has averaged 4.1 percent from 1971 to 1974.


     Local workers' associations began in Germany in 1848.
Officially, these associations were considered dangerous and
were dissolved by law in 1854. The 1878 Socialist Law severely
restricted the workers' movement, but after the law was
rescinded, the union movement gathered momentum. However,
unions did not become the acknowledged representative of labo:
until the period 1.918 to 1933.

     Most German unions are affiliated with four major labor
federations.  Some small independent unions also exist.   I.
1974 trade union membership in the Federal Republic of Germany
and West Berlin, according to estimates, was 8,917,830, or
38.7 percent of all wage and salary employees. Membership in
the four major federations was estimated at 8,788,330, or
nearly 99 percent of total trade union membership.

                                                      Number of

     German Trade Union Federation                    7,405,760

     German Union of Salaried Employees                 458,090

     German Civil Servants Association                  720,480

     Confederation of German Christian Trade Unions     204,480

         Total                                        8,788,810

     Germany's constitution guarantees the right to organize.
ArLicle 9, section 3, of the German constitution (1949), in
part, is translated:

     "The right to form associations to safeguard and improve
     working and economic conditions is quaranteed for every-
     one and for all occupations * * t*.,

     Under the National Servicemen's Act of 1956, military
personnel are guaranteed the same civil rights as other

     Four military personnel representation forums have de-
veloped--military association, military union, unit personnel
councils. and military ombudsmen for combat unit personnel.

The Federal Armed Forces Association

     The Federal Armed Forces Association is a professional
organization open to all military personnel.  The associa-
tion is to insure the social and professional well-being of
its members and their dependents by adhering to the following

     -- Insure the combat readiness of the armed forces.

     -- Support the maintenance of discipline in the armed

     -- Insure recognition by the armed forces leadership of
        its responsibility to uniformed members.

     -- Maintain religious and political neutrality.

     -- Avoid interference in purely military matters.

     -- Deny itself the use of strikes in attempting to achieve
        its objectives.

     The association views itself as a lobby or pressure group
interested in the well-being of its members.  It is to influ-
ence political parties, the Parliament and its committees, and
the Ministry of Defense.

     The association has about 186,000 members--officers,
noncommissioned officers, and conscripts.  Membership dues
are $1.40 a month. The association provides legal advice,
vehicle liability insurance, assistance concerning pension
and disability applications, and monthly newsletters and

    The association consults the Ministry of Defense regularly
on matters affecting members of its armed forces.  The
consultation process was established and is governed by the
Ministry of Defense's Cooperation Decree, issued Novem-
ber 24, 1971.

     The civil service law require.  hat employee organiza-
tions be consulted before introducing legislation which
would adjust salaries or fringe benefits of permanent civil-
ian personnel and uniformed military personnel.  The employee
organizations may testify before the German Parliament re-
garding pay and working conditions.

     Military personnel receive basically the same salaries
as civilian public employees.  However, the Ministry of De-
fense regulates any special problems peculiar to the military
such as those relating to work hours after consultation with
employee organization representatives.  Generally, military
personnel work a 40-hour week, but some personnel who may
work a 70-hour week are not paid overtime.  In some instances,
civilian and military perso-nel work side by side.  The ci-
vilians are paid overtime while the soldiers are not.  An
association official said this causes a problem, and the as-
sociation is attempting to get the overtime policy changed to
include military personnel.

     Ministry of Defense officials feel the consultation
process works well and recognize the association has special
interests, which are taken into account when considering
regulations affecting military personnel.  The Ministry of
Defense usually cooperates with the association concerning
new proposals and regulations.  Typical items for discussion

in consultation can be pay, fringe benefits, leave, training,
dress, living conditions, and hours of duty. Military com-
mand and discipline are excluded from consultation.

Military union

     The Public Services and Transport Union obtained per-
mission from the government in August 1966 to enroll members
of the armed forces.  However, only a few servicemen in tech-
nical crafts (from 2,000 to 5,000) have joined the union.
Union dues are 1 percent of gross monthly income.

     The union has not become involved in military order or
obedience matters which are specifically excluded from ne-
gotiations.  The union is prlarily involved in the consul-
tation process with the Federal A: -r!Forces Association and
the government.  Also, a unioin s:   e forbids calling on the
military members to strike even t ..gh nonmilitary members
can strike.  The union does, however, indirectly participate
in collective bargaining with the government since it is
affiliated with the German Trade Union Federation (one of the
four federations that negotiate ac.eements with the govern-

     Federal, State, and local governments jointly negotiate
wages and working conditions annually on the national level
with the appropriate public sec 4 or unions. These contracts
cover monthly salaried personnel and hourly paid personnel.
After the negotiations are concluded, the German Parliament
extends the negotiated wage increases and other improvements
to permanent civil servants and uniformed military personnel.

     Association and union members dealing with the Ministry
of Defense are generally interested in higher salaries, better
pensions, and overtime pay.

     A short-term union goal concerns vacations. The length
of vacation time now varies among the different categories of
public employees. Generally, those receiving higher pay also
get longer vacations.  The union feels vacations should- be
based on an employee's age and is lobbying for revision of the
vacation policy.  It is also trying to get special allowances
(i.e., hazardous duty and environmental pay) for personnel
handling explosives and working in underground facilities.

Personnel councils

     In the public sector, personnel councils represent em-
ployees on matters not covered in the negotiated contracts.
The councils represent both union and nonunion personnel.
This arrangement also applies to military personnel.

     Military personnel councils exist at the Ministry of
Defense level, regional level, and the local unit level.   At
any military  upport installation, the work force may consist
of several categories of civilian employees and uniformed
military personnel.  Esaployees in each category elect repre-
sentatives from their ranks to represent them in dealings
with local management.  For instance, issues might include
reductions in forre. reorganizations, or safety programs.

     Military personnel do not have the same rights, however,
as other public employees represented by the councils.  Mili-
tary personnel are subject to military command and discipline
and cannot make joint decisions with management.

     In the public sector, unions do not represent employees
directly in grievances.   This is, by law, the function of the
personnel council.   If disputes and grievances between the
councils and management cannot be resolved, an appeal can be
made to a ce'ten-person arbitration commission at the national
level.   Labor and management are represented equally at the
national lev: l and both parties select an impartial chairman.
Decisions of the arbitration commission are binding on both


     In combat units a special arrangement--the use of an
ombudsman--has been established for handling complaints and
grievances.  Ombudsmen are selected by military personnel to
act for and to represent them before military management.

     Ombudsmen are not permitted to interfere with military
command and discipline.  They can make proposals to the unit
chief or supervisor.  These proposals can emanate from com-
plaints and grievances related to:

     -- Tnternal duty--general   service regulations.

     -- Welfare programs.

     -- Occupational upgrades and retraining.

     -- General social activities     (nonduty).

     The ombudsman and supervisor discuss proposals.  If the
supervisor or unit chief cannot answer a question or proposal,
the issue must be presented to the next higher military level.
A May 1975 regulation requires quarterly battalion level meet-
ings and also authorizes the ombudsman to hold meetings during
duty hours with those represented.

     The ombudsman must be consulted when disciplinary action
is taken against any individual he represents, but his function
is essentially only one of providing a character reference,
not of representation.  Management investigates and judges
disciplinary cases. The ombudsman arrangement is suspended in
a national emergency or during wartime.


     The Ministry of Defense has a positive working relation-
ship with the union and association and according to U.S. Em-
bassy officials, morale is good in the German military services.

     Military pay generally follows the pattern set in the
private sector.  In the public sector, negotiated wage and
working condition improvements are extended to military per-
sonnel. The small disparity in wages causes little discontent.
U.S. Embassy officials also stated that the representation
practices have had no adverse effects on the readiness of the
German Armed Forces.

    For national security reasons, representational activity
is subordinate to the rights of military command to act and
to maintain discipline.  Within this framework, representation
appears to contribute positively to the efficiency, discipline,
and morale of the German Armed Forces.

                               CHAPTER 4


       Denmark's military services have been granted rights
  similar to those of the civilian work force, and
                                                   a high per-
  centage of military personnel other than conscripts
  joined unions.

       Conscripts have not organized but deal with the
  of Defense through a spokesman process.              Ministry
                                           Public employees in
  Denmark do not have the right to strike.


       Denmark has an active military force of about
  personnel and an emergency mobilization force of
  200,000; as shown in the table below.

                                          Air    Home
                   Army     Navy         Force   Guard        Other      Total
    Regulars      1i,000    3,860        5,700     -            -       22,560
    Conscripts     9,000    1,900        1,370            -     -       12,270
          Total   22,000    5,760        7,070     -            -       34,830
Wartime           91,500    8,560    14,570      70,000       12,000   196,630

      Denmark has a compulsory military service, but
 a small percentage of the eligible are drafted
                                                 through a
 lottery-like system.  Individuals may refuse military serv-
 ice but must perform alternate service at a lower
                                                    pay rate.
 Only about 15 percent of those eligible for the
                                                  draft serve
 in this way, possibly because of Denmark's employment
 ation and the attraction of high military wages.       situ-

      The conscripts serve 9 months of duty--3 months
                                                      in train-
 ing and 6 months in the active reserve--after
                                               which they en-
 ter reserve status and become part of the mobilization
      Denmark's defense expenditures have been steadily
 creasing in the last 4 years, an average of 7.7
 the total government expenditure.               percent  of
                                    As a percentage of gross
 national product, defense expenditures have remained
 tively constant, ranging from 2.1 to 2.5 percent.
                                                    In 1975
 Denmark spent $940 million on defense.


     Denmark's first trade unions were organized in 1899 by
industrial workers.  In that same year, Denmark experienced
a nationwide strike which lasted 6 months.  An agreement
reached tfter the strike remains the basis for negotiations
in the Danish labor market today.

     Early military organizations took the form of social
clubs because the government prohibited the forming of asso-
ciations.  The clubs served as a forum for discussions for
military personnel.  In 1919 all public employees, including
the military, were granted the right to form associations
and negotiate with the government.

      Approximately 52 military associations exist today.
Nationally, there are three central military unions--the A
Branch Officers Union, the B Branch Officers Union, and the
Association of Regular Other Ranks.   The B Branch Officers
Union was established in 1891 as a noncommissioned officers'
musical organization and was granted union status in 1919
when unions for public employees and the military were legal-
ized.   The A Branch Officers Union was also established in
1919.   The Association of Regular Other Ranks was organized
in 1939, but was not granted union status by the Ministry of
Defense until 1953.

     Conscripts have not organized unions but engage in a
representational form which is explained later in this

     The following is a breakdown of the membership in the
three national military unions.

              Membership in Military Unions    (note a)

                             Number     Percent             dues

A Branch Officers Union       1,962           97           $13.00

B Branch Officers Union       3,971           99             8.00

Association of Regular       13,769           95             9.00
  Other Ranks

a/The figures are estimates based on conversations with Danish
  unicn representatives.

     The A Branch Officers Union represents officers of all
ranks from each of the services who have graduated from one
of the military academies and is affiliated with the Union
of University Graduates, one of the four main public serv-
ants' unions.  It represents university graduates such as
doctors, lawyers, and engineers.

     The B Branch Officers Union represents all nonmilitary
academy graduate officers from each of the services up to
the rank of major and is affiliated with the Central Union
of Higher State Functionaries which represents such em-
ployees as legal advisors and musicians.

     The Association of Regular Other Ranks represents
senior sergeants, staff sergeants, sergeants, and enlisted
privates.  It is comprised of several smaller associations
from all the services.  The Association is not affiliated
with any of the central organizations.  According to the
Defense Command, the Association of Regular Other Ranks is
the strongest and most dynamic of Denmark's military unions.

     The representation forums in Denmark provide a means
for all military personnel to communicate with top govern-
ment levels.  Every serviceman is permitted to join a mili-
tary union, but, as previously mentioned, conscripts have
not done so.


     Ptiblic sector employees, including military personnel,
are covered by agreements negotiated by the Ministry of
Wages and Budgets and the four main unions--the Central
Union of Medium and Lower State Functionaries, Central Union
of Higher State Functionaries, the Association of School
Teachers, and the Union of University Graduates.   Generally,
the Ministry of Defense deals only in military personnel
matters, and ยข. cooperation committee handles issues common to
the unions affiliated with the four central unions.

     The collective bargaining process in the private sector
is similar to that in the public sector.  The Danish Federa-
tion of Trade Unions, which represents 64 different trade
unions, negotiates and makes agreements with the Danish Em-
ployers Confederation.

     The following chart shows the relationship of the mili-
tary unions with the Ministries of Finance and Defense and
the four main public sector unions.

                                                                 0       4   Z~~

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     Wages and other employment conditions may be negotiated.
Such matters as pension regulations and the discharge and
transfer of public employees are not negotiable when gov-
erned by other laws.

     Since the Association of Regular Other Ranks is not
affiliated with one of the four main unions, it negotiates
directly with the Ministry of Defense. Matters relating to
pay must be directed to the Ministry of Wages and Budgets.

     Areas not negotiable are military operational and or-
ganizational matters, except those that affect working con-
ditions.  Public and private sector wages are generally com-
parable. Wages are negotiated every 2 years and are based
on statistics compiled by the Danish Employers Association.
Negotiation impasses can be either settled by arbitration or
taken to a labor court for resolution.

     Public employees do not have the right to strike, but
some incidents by the unions and the conscripts do exist.
In the late 1950s Air Force personnel on contract (who were
not unionized) contested the existing policy that contract
workers retire from service at age 35.   About 800 Air Force
noncommissioned officers announced they would resign en
masse if the policy was not changed.   In response, the gov-
ernment extended the retirement age.

     In 1976 Danish conscripts received support from politi-
cal parties and the Prime Minister for pay equal to that of
regular privates. However, some governmental departments
tried to defer the pay raise.  In protest, the conscripts'
executive committee planned a legal demonstration, but equal
pay was promised before the demonstration was carried out.

     In 1976 sergeants and enlisted specialists on board the
ship INGOLF complained to the Ministry of Defense that they
had to work overtime in violation of the 40-hour workweek.
The working relations committee of the enlisted personnel on
board the ship announced to the Ministry of Defense and the
press that they were going to apply for transfers if the
overtime practice was not "'-nged.

     It was reported that crew members caused a work slow-
down which forced the captain to dock in the Faroe Islands.
According to the Chairman of the Association of Regular Other
Ranks, work never stopped; the crew and the ship's captain
simply differed in their interpretation of the 40-hour week
regulation. A Defense Command official, sent to the INGOLF
as a mediator, concluded that a work slowdown had not oc-
curred. The incident prompted the Defense Command to clarify
the 40-hour week for naval personnel.

 Collaboration process

      Danish conscripts have no union organization but par-
 ticipate in a representation system based on the 1967
                                                       Act of
 Rules of Cooperation in the A-med Forces which provided:

           "With a view of promoting the growth of the indi-
     vidual, strengthening the community and increasing the
     efficiency of the Armed Forces through an active mutual
     relationship, it rests with every commanding officer
     within the military defence to see to it that a system
     of co-operation is established which, according to the
     special circumstances within each individual unit is
     considered best suited to encourage a mutual co-opera-
     tion among the various groups of personnel."

The collaboratory committee may deal with employment condi-
tions, personnel matters, and financial matters.

      The conscripts have not expressed an interest in form-
ing a union partly because the conscript executive committee
felt a union might come under political influence.   Con-
script spr ~Emen also said they prefer the collaboration
system to    'on organization because it is more flexible and
facilitates   roblem solving.  Since conscripts have no other
formal means of representation, they rely more on the spokes-
man system than do union members, to whom it is also avail-

     As stated the rules of representation for conscripts are
governed by the 1967 Act of Rules of Cooperation in the
 orces.   The act established guidelines for communications
between the conscripts and military managers at all levels.
Accordingly, conscripts are entitled to elect representatives
to express their wishes and complaints to their commanding

     Conscript representatives can raise almost any matter
with local commanders.  If not satisfactorily resolved, the
matter is passed up the chain of command until resolved
a final decision made.


      The military unions in Denmark function in much the same
way as unions in the private sector.   Military personnel and
other public employees do not, however, have the right
strike, and there are provisions for suspending the military
representation arrangements during wartime or national
gency.   Through the bargaining process, the military services
have negotiated a 40-hour workweek and compensation for

     The representation practices have introduced certain
problems for military management. The labor relations proc-
ess and work-hour restrictions tend to slow decisionmaking
and reduce management flexibility. However, the Danish
military view these practices as necessary mechanisms for
communication and the resolution of personnel problems and
grievances. Workweek restrictions and required overtime
have affected management flexibility, particularly training.
Because of the workweek restrictions and budgetary consid-
erations in relation to overtime payments, the Defense Com-
mand has reduced its scheduling of training exercises which
would involve overtime.

     Although these restrictions are recognized and may be
overcome by better planning, military managers do not feel
the representation practices have adversely affected the
armed forces readiness cability.

                             CHAPTER 5


     Sweden's work force is highly unionized; 95 percent
the blue-collar and 75 percent of the white-collar        of
are members of unions.   The military services are also highly
organized.  Three military unions represent most of the reg-
ular military personnel.   These unions belong to larger cen-
tral organizations which negotiate certain issues for
     The military unions are fully integrated into the Swe-
dish collective bargaining system.  Because of this, the
rights of the military unions are quite extensive.
tion permits them to strike, and the government has
                                                    the right
to lock them out.  Through the bargaining process the unions
nave made compensation gains.  In the late 1960s, the mili-
tary unions were successful in getting a 40-hour workweek
compensation for overtime.


     The Swedish military depends heavily on a defense
lization system.  Its armed forces would number about 750,000
in wartime and about 18,000 regular service personnel
peacetime.  The Navy and Air Force maintain a higher degree
of operational readiness than the Army because a larger
portion of their mobilization force levels are on active
     In addition to 18,000 regulars, th-re are 13,900 reser--
ists, 51,700 conscripts, and 113,400 conscripts in
                                                   annual re-
fresher training.  Following is a breakdown of staffing lev-
els by service component.

                                                        Conscripts on
                                                      annual refresher
               Regulars   Reservists     Conscripts       training
Army            8,700       9,000          38,000        102,000
Navy            4,400       2,900           7,700          6,800
Air Force       5,000      2,000           6,000           4,600
       Total   18,100     13,900          51,700         113,400

     Military service is compulsory in Sweden. The length of
service training varies according to the duties which con-
scripts are assigned in war and peacetime organizations.
Most conscripts receive 7-1/2 to 9 months training while

those selected for special duty receive 15 to 21 months
training. The conscripts are required to retrain every
fourth year for 11 to 32 days, during which they
with the units to which they would be attached in exercise
                                                   a full
military mobilization.

     Since the end of World War II, 4 to 4.5 percent of the
Swedish gross national product has been spent on national
defense. In recent years, the ratio of defense appropria-
tions to the government's operating budget has been declin-
ing. From 1969 to 1976 the percentage of the total national
budget spent on defense declined 14.5 to 10.3 percent.


      As mentioned, unionism in Sweden is prevalent in all
sectors of employment, but until the late 1800s the extent
of unionization was not significant. Before, there
legal restrictions on the formation of unions. With
moval of legal restrictions, various unions began to the re-
mostly for blue-collar occupations and crafts. Then, form,
1898 the Swedish Confederation cf Trade Unions was estab-
lished. The Confederation poviad a central organization
for the existing nationAi unions. The Confederation
today and is the primary organization for blue-collar exists
ployees.                                               em-
           It has a membership of '.8 million and 25 affili-
ated unions. Othe.- central unions have been formed
                                                     for other
employment sectcrvs.

     A general strike in 1902 prompted employers to form
their own central organization, the Swedish Employers
eration. essentially in defense against the employee Confed-
The Swedish Employers Confederation today has 37 affiliated
employer associations, representing 27,000 member companies.
     The employee unions and the employer associations are
now structured principally according to specific industries
rather than the traditional craft and occupational organiza-
tions. The national unions have the right to strike
tiation disputes while the employer associations have in nego-
counter right to impose a lockout.                     a

     Until the late 1930s, the government did not recognize
the white-collar public employee organizations.  They could
influence salaries and working conditions only by presenting
their views to the government. In 1937 State employees
in 1940 local government employees were granted collective
bargaining rights. However, the right to strike was
granted until 1965.

     Today, there is little difference in the bargaining
rights of public and private sector employees. The laws
that govern the rights of association and collective bar-
gaining, mediation in labor disputes, and collective agree-
ments have been extended to all labor sectors.

Military unions

     Military associations have existed in Sweden since the
early 1900s, but were not given rights of association and
collective bargaining until 1965.  The State Officials Act
extended these rights to all public employees, including
military personnel.  The military unions are now fully inte-
grated into the Swedish collective bargaining system. The
collective bargaining rights of private sector employees
apply equally to military personnel and cover all aspects of
pay and working conditions.

     Three military unions have developed--the Company Offi-
cers' Union, the Platoon Officers' Union, and the Swedish
Union of Officers.  Membership in the unions is based on
rank, and nearly all eligible military personnel are union
members. Conscripts have not unionized. They were excluded
from coverage under the State Officials Act of 1965 presuma-
bly because they are not considered regular employees.

     As in other sectors, the three military unions are af-
filiated with larger national unions. The Company Officers&
Union belongs to the Central Organization of Salaried Em-
ployees.  The Platoon Officers' Union is also affiliated
with the Central Organization of Salaried Employees and the
Swedish Union of Officers is part of the Swedish Confedera-
tion of Professional Associations. The national unions en-
gage in contract negotiations with the sovernment's National
Collective Bargaining Office for public employees and mili-
tary personnel.  This relationship is shown in the chart on
the following page.

     Although conscripts are excluded from unionization,
they can, at an annual conference conducted by the Swedish
Defense Counsel, present proposals and complaints on the
terms and conditions of their employment. Conscripts elect
delegates to the Conference. Continuity between conferences
is provided by a working group which functions as an execu-
tive body  or the conscripts. At recent conferences, the
conscripts have asked for authorization to form a union, but
the government has opposed the idea.

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The negotiation process

     A pattern of central contract negotiations has evolved
in Sweden.  In the 1950s, the practice of holding negotia-
tions between the central federations of employees and em-
ployers was introduced.  The federations negotiate basic
agreements which establish guidelines on wages and working
conditions for subsequent negotiations between the national
unions and employer organizations within the various indus-

     The National Collective Bargaining Office represents
the State in negotiations for public sector employees and
military personnel. National unions represent public em-
ployees in negotiating a basic agreement with the Bargaining
Office.  The agreement is elaborated upon in secondary nego-
tiations z.nd usually covers 1 to 3 years.

     If a union and management do not reach an agreement
during negotiations, either side may resort to an industrial
action--strike or lockout. A strike or lockout, however,
cannot be effected until 7 days after the other side is no-
tified of the intended action. At the same time, a govern-
ment mediator, whose task is to try to help settle such dis-
putes, is also to be notified of the intended action.

     Mediators have no power to postpone strikes or lockouts,
but do request the parties to delay the action during the
mediation process. The parties usually honor a mediator's
request. If the situation warrants, a commission of several
mediators may be appointed to help settle a dispute.

      Although unions may strike and employers (and the gov-
ernment in the case of public employees) have a correspond-
ing right to resort to lockout, there are certain restric-
tions if such action would threaten essential public serv-
ices.   If the protection of a public interest is raised during
a dispute, the matter is referred to a Labor Market Council.
The Council, to which the interested parties have equal
representation, decides by a majority vote as to whether a
dispute is to be prevented, limited, or settled.

     As discussed, negotiations in the public and private
sectors have been generally limited to questions concerning
wages and other conditions of employment. However, a new
Swedish law, the Act on Codetermination at Work, effective
January 1, 1977, replaces existing labor laws and includes
modifications to collective bargaining. Previously, areas
as management of a company, its structure, supervision of
work, work areas, equipment, etc., were not negotiable.
Under the act these matters may be negotiated as provided
in article 32:

          "Between parties to a collective agreement on
     pay and general conditions of employment there should,
     if the union side so requests, also be concluded a
     collective agreement on co-determination for employees
     in questions relating to concluding and cancelling em-
     ployment contracts, to supervision and distribution of
     work or to other aspects of management."

     Many improvements in pay and general working condi-
tions for Swedish military personnel are attributed to the
military unions. The unions were successful in negotiating
a 40-hour workweek and paid overtime. Also, the unions were
primarily .sponsible for changes in military justice of
transferr..ig certain disciplinary authority from the mili-
tary to civil authorities.

     The military unions have been fully integrated into
the Swedish collective bargaining system. The collective
bargaining rights in the private sector have been equally
extended to the public sector, including the military.
     The impact of codetermination on tne Swedish military
will not be known for some time. Some officers expressed
concern that codetermination agreements will result in their
functioning as coordinators rather than commanders. Others
feel that decisionmaking will gravitate from individual
commanders to a group or board-type arrangement.

     With regard to military capability aid unionization,
the Swedish Ministry of Defense has stated, "It cannot be
claimed that unions have exerted any direct influence on

                           CHAPTER 6
                        SELECTED STUDIES
     Many recent studies and surveys have dealt with the
prospect and possible impact of U.S. military unionization.
One study, for example, suggests that some form of organized
representation or bargaining arrangement for U.S. military
personnel is very likely. Another reports that military
personnel do not feel that their interests are adequately
protected and represented. A common observation is that
military personnel perceive an erosion of promised benefits
which they feel a union could restore and maintain. High-
lights of selected studies are contained in the following

     In a report issued in April 1976 to the President and
the Congress, the Defense Manpower Commission discussed the
possibility of unionization of the U.S. Armed Forces. The
Commission noted,

     "that many members of the active forces feel dismayed
     and disillusioned because of what they perceive to be
     either neglect, disinterest or a breach of faith on the
     part of their Government * * * [ and that I the atti-
     tudes of the members of the Armed Forces in this regard
     are shaped primarily by their perceptions of the atti-
     tude toward them of the President, the Congress and the
     Secretary of Defense."

Primarily because of this and its conviction that unioniza-
tion would involve unacceptable consequences, the Commission
expressed extreme concern about the possibility of military
unionization; a possibility which the Commission believed
"must be faced squarely and appropriate actions to deal with
the possibility must be undertaken now." In this respect,
the Commission recommended that the Secretary of Defense
publish a regulation that would prohibit all officers, war-
rant officers, or noncommissioned officers from joining a
union and publish a directive that prohibits commanders from
recognizing or bargaining with a union.

     The Department of Defense conducted a background study
of military unions and associations in five North Atlantic
Treaty Organization countries that have unions or associa-
tions. In part, he Department found that unionization has

resulted in economic gains and better conditions of serv-
ices for military personnel and that the military of those
countries appear to have benefited from improved recruit-
ment and retention of career personnel with resulting sav-
ings in training, an increased sense of involvement in
military personnel, and a greater acceptance of the mili-
tary by the general public.

     In its aalysis, the Department concluded

     "the most obvious negative impact of the unionization
     of military ,crsonnel in NATO European nations has
     been a lowering of military standards of appearance
     and decorum.   * * *1

A less obvious, but serious negative effect cited in the
study is lessening of management flexibility because of
strict workweek rules and limitations on overtime work.
Some former military commanders in the countries studied
told the Department that there have been no 3verall adverse
impacts of unions or associations on combat readiness and
effectiveness.  The Department's overall observations on
the potential impacts of unionization of the U.S. Armed
Forces follow.

          "Because of their worldwide commitments, our
    Armed Services need the utmost flexibility in managing
    their military personnel.   Currently, our personnel
    are managed with policies that are enlightened and
    sensitive, while responsive to our defense needs.
    Restrictions on personnel management which could ensue
    if unionization and even limited recognition occur nay
    seriously hamper both the readiness of our forces and
    our capability to employ them in contingency situa-
    tions.   This need for management flexibility is far
    less important in nations which have defense commit-
    ments which typically end at their continental borders.

          "While the negative impacts of unionization on
    the armed forces of the NATO European nations, at least
    in peacetime, do not appear to be seriously degrading
    their combat readiness and effectiveness, the conse-
    quences for the United States are very likely to be
    more detrimental.   Further, while there appears to bc
    generally harmonious relationships between the military
    unions and the governments in the NATO nations, we
    could not be assured of the same situation in the U.S.
    since our many labor organizations are more diverse in
    nature, appear to be more aggressive in pursuing their
    demands, and do not have a direct role and voice in our

           "Internally, unionization could have very grave
     impacts on the morale, dedication and commitment of
     our members. Any attempt to unionize would be divi-
     sive.   Many members will resist such efforts but even
     a small vocal minority who might support such efforts
     could seriously damage the cohesiveness of our units.
     Should efforts at unionization be successful, we are
     certain to see the loyalties of our members divided
     between Service and union, and in all likelihood, with
     time, sense of service to nation would wane and mili-
     tary se -ice would be increasingly viewed as merely a


     A study conducted for the Quadrennial Review of Mili-
tary Compensation by the consulting firm of Kramer Asso-
ciates, Inc., analyzed factors which -Lve historically been
associated with the impetus for unionization in Government
services with a special emphasis on police and firefighter
organizations in the United States. Based on an analysis
of public sector unionization, the following conclusions
were presented regarding military unionization.

    "The review of public sector unionization has shown
    that the United States has become a negotiating so-
    ciety, and that there is nothing to indicate a change
    in this trend. Clearly, the military is the last
    large unorganized sector of the U.S. economy in the
    eyes of many employee organizations. The United
    States is now experiencing a period conducive to mili-
    tary unionization, characterized by a non-conscript,
    professional armed force, largely in garrison and with
    a relatively long period unbroken by serious military
    conflict.  Judging from the material contained in this
    report, there will be for the foreseeable future a
    distinct possibility of some form of collective bar-
    gaining for uniformed military personnel to improve
    pay and working conditions or to strengthen due proc-
    ess and employee participation in the decisions which
    affect their lives.  It will probably become increas-
    ingly important for Department of Defense managers to
    realize that the attitudes of society and of the young
    people entering the force toward public service unions
    have changed since the early 1960's and there is little
    reason to expect that this more liberal view will not
    continue.  This review of public sector unionization
    has shown that there are reasons for public service
    employee affiliation with unions other than the tradi-
    tional employee considerations of pay, fringe benefits

     and working conditions.  An equally important function
     of unions is o protect the employees from arbitrary
     actions of management whether those actions are related
     to pay, fringe benefits, working conditions or
     other aspects of employment such as job seuurity, ad-
     vancement or status. The strongest current appeal of
     unions is the guarantee that the employee will be
     assured of having a strong influence in the decisions
     which directly affect his life.  These findings sug-
     gest the need for the Department of Defense to develop
     alternative ways to meet these kinds of expectations
     within the framework of an authoritarian military


     In 1975 AFGE studied the consultation and collec-
tive bargaining arrangements within the armed forces of the
Netherlands, Sweden, and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Some of its observations were:

    The Netherlands--"* * * does not possess a unionized
    personnel system which authorizes labor organizations
    to negotiate pay and military working conditions with
    the Ministries of Interior and Parliament. Instead,
    officers, enlisted personnel as well as draftees serv-
    ing in the Army, Navy and Air Force are members of
    dues-collecting 'Associations' which send elected rep-
    resentatives to a monthly 'Consultation Committee'
    meeting with appropriate Defense Ministry officials.
    A..continuous review,; f all facets of military person-
    nel policy is thus achieved."

     Sweden--"* * * unionizing large portions cf the Swedish
     military has not revealed any disturbing, or negative
     effects on military morale, combat training or effi-
     ciency:  A sense of some participation in the altera-
     tion of the military working environment, actually
     raises, rather than depresses morale."

     West Germany--"The Federal Republic's mixed military
     association labor union personnel system works well
     and comprised either discipline still subject to mili-
     tary control) or preparedness."  (sic)

      Also, in 1975 AFGE testified before the Defense
Manpower Commission on organizing the military services
into a union.   The following excerpts contain some of the
reasons given by AFGE for considering military member-

     "Since it appeared that AFGE and armed forces
personnel would have a continuing mutual concern in
pay adjustments in the future, I recommended to the
AFGE National Executive Council--our policy board--
that we consider offering membership within AFGE to
members of the uniformed military.

     "Since the original concept was discussed last
April--centering primarily on pay--other areas of
mutual concern have also come to the fore.  These con-
siderations include common or similar problems in the
pension systems of both civilian and military person-
nel, changes in the health care system for both groups,
identification of military and civilian positions in
the regular operation of military installations and
many others. * * *

     "Again, our experience in dealing with these
problems, with legal, administrative anJ collective
bargaining remedies, was part of the consideration
which led our National Executive Council to extend
the charter of the committee studying possiblP mem-
bership for military personnel by a unanimous ote
earlier this month.

"*    * In sumary, then, it would be well for the mem-
bers of this Commission--as well as for the policy
officials of Federal management--to bear in mind that
there are striking parallels between the conditions
which spawned the unionization of Federal employees in
1932, when AFGE began, and those which could spawn a
similar movement by military personnel in the coming

     "As our work in representing Federal civilian
employees has evolved over these forty-three years, we
have found the mood of management has mellowed from the
absolute obstructionism we first encountered. Our role
in the scheme of things hs grown to the point where
we are now really helping management in the writing of
their own regulations; somethin which would have been
unheard of in the early years."

                          CHAPTER 7


     As discussed in previous chapters, each country we
studied permits military personnel to engage in some form of
organized representation.  Because of social, political, and
military differences, the experiences of these countries
cannot be readily related to the United States.  It should
be emphasized that the arrangements in the countries we
studied have evolved over many years and there are certain
restrictions, legal and traditional, on the scope and struc-
ture of representational activities and legally defined re-
lationships within the framework of military organization
and authority.


     All military personnel in the countries studied, except
Swedish conscripts, are permitted various forms of organized
representation.  Although the nature of the representation
varies (unions, associations, personnel councils, etc.),
activity is generally limited to matters relating to pay and
living and working conditions.  In general, military pay is
tied to that of other public employees.

     There are various restrictions on the nature and scope
of military union and association activities including pro-
hibitions on involvement in matters of a military nature--
organization, operations and discipline, etc.  Except for
Sweden, none of the military organizations have the right to
strike, and the Swedish unions have not exercised their right.
Provisions for suspending representational activity in war-
time or national emergency also exist.

     Organized representation has been integrated into the
military structures of Denmark, the Netherlands, West Ger-
many, and Sweden without any apparent adverse effects on
military capability.  The unions and associations operate
within a defined legal framework and appear to have the pos-
itive cooperation and support of government and military
management.  Military officials feel that the labor manage-
ment practices have improved communication and facilitated
the resolution of conflicts and personnel problems.

     Many U.S. Embassy officials, including military and
labor attaches, believe organized representation has not
adversely affected military readiness, efficiency, or disci-
pline.  However, some officials characterized certain exist-
ing arrangements such as workweek restrictions and overtime

 considerations as negative factors which could have negative
 impacts.  Some of these officials also believe that, because
 of many differences, the experiences in European countries
 are not necessarily appropriate for drawing conclusions
 the potential impacts of unionization in the U.S. Armed

     The practices have, however, introduced manrgement
problems for the military. Consultations, negotiations,
discussions between management and military representatives
tend to slow decisionmaking and reduce management flexibil-
ity. These practices are viewed as needed mechanisms for
communications and an equitable resolution of problems.

     Workweek restrictions and required overtime compensa-
tion have affected management flexibility, particularly
training. A number of officials commented that, because
these restrictions, the desired level of military training
may be difficult to attain. The budgetary effect associated
with training and overtime is also a factor to be carefully
considered.  For example, the Danish Defense Command has
reduced its scheduling of training exercises which would
involve overtime.

      Overall, the military organizations in the countries
studied appear to have contributed to improvements in pay
benefits and to general working and living conditions of
military personnel.   However, since military pay systems are
generally linked to private and public sector pay, improve-
ments may have resulted without the military unions' involve-


     The unionization of U.S. military personnel has become
a prospect.  Numerous bills have been introduced in the Con-
gress to prohibit such unionization.  The Secretary of De-
fense has stated he will take steps to curb unionization
activity on military installations.

     At present, military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces
have no formalized means to collectively address issues of
living and working conditions as a union or other form of
authorized representation could do.  Many forums are avail-
able within the chain of command, such as enlisted and junior
officers councils, for consideration of complaints and
lems of military personnel.  There are also many military
organizations and associations (for example, the Fleet
serve Association and the Air Force Sergeants Association)
which represent their members but do not engage in any formal
negotiation, bargaining, or consultations.

     Military personnel may individually seek redress of
grievances and present complaints on matters, including pay
and benefits, through established channels:

     --Article 138 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice
       provides that any member of the Armed Forces who
       believes he has been wronged by his commanding offi-
       cer and has been refused redress may have his case
       referred by a superior commissioned officer for in-
       vestigation and corrective action, after which a
       report is to be sent to the secretary concerned.

     -- Department of Defense Directive 1325.6 states that an
        open door policy for complaints is a basic principle
        of good leadership, and commanders should personally
        assure themselves that adequate procedures exist for
        identifying valid complaints and taking corrective

     -- Federal law (10 U.S.C. 1034) permits any member of
        the military to petition or present any grievance to
        any Member of Congress.

     -- Inspector General systems were established to inquire
        into and report on matters affecting the performance
        of mission and the state of economy, efficiency, dis-
        cipline, and morale of the Armed Forces.

Legal questions

     Unionization of the U.S. military involves several legal
issues.  Numerous bills have been introduced in the Congress
to expressly prohibit unionization in the U.S. Armed Forces.
One such bill (S. 274, Jan. 18, 1977) states in part:

     "(b)  It shall be unlawful for any individual, group,
     association, organization, or other entity to enroll
     any member of the armed forces in, or to solicit or
     otherwise encourage any member to join, any labor

    "(c) (1)  It shall be unlawful for any member of the
    armed forces to be a member of or to solicit or other-
    wise encourage any other member of the armed forces to
    join any labor organization."

      The Congressional Research Service studied the questions
of whether members of the Armed Forces have a constitutional
right to join a union and whether legislation designed to
prohibit such unionization may be stated in a manner to be
free of constitutional objections.   It reported in May 1976
           "The cases cited in this study do not lead unerr-
     ingly to any particular conclusion.   However, certain
     general principles emerge which would appear to form a
     possible basis for legislation.   First, the most recent
     case law on the subject holds that the right of govern-
     ment employees to join a union is guaranteed by the
     Constitution, although this principle has never been
     approved by the Supreme Court, which currently seems
     willing to uphold substantial restrictions on the free-
     doms of government personnel, and especially those of
     the military.   In any event, it seems clear that any
     government body may be prohibited from bargaining col-
     lectively with a union purporting to represent its

          "Another important point which is fairly well es-
     tablished by the most recent Supreme Court decisions is
     that military personnel may be prohibited from partici-
     pating in activities which are found to constitute a
     clear danger to loyalty, discipline, and morale.  It is
     believed that legislation embodying the foregoing prin-
     ciples would be constitutional."

     In March 1977 the Secretary of Defense testified before
the Senate Armed Services Committee on the prospect of U.S.
military unionization. While opposed to the concept of
unionization within the U.S. military, the Secretary was
concerned about possible legal problems related to legisla-
tion which would prohibit military personnel from joining
unions.  Rather than an outright ban on union membership by
military personnel, the Secretary expressed preference for
the restrictive measures already contained in Department

     It is evident that unionization of the U.S. military
will continue to be a controversial issue. We made this
study primarily to provide additional information rather
than to support a position for or against military union-

APPENDIX I                                                  APPEND
                    THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
                          WASHINGTON. 0. C. 10301

                                                    20 DEC 1976

MEMORANDUM FOR Secretaries of the Military Departments

SUBJECT: Policy Regarding Negotiation and Bargaining in the
         Armed Forces

Unions and the labor movement have played an historic role in the
economic and social development of our nation. Within the Depart-
ment of Defense, there are labor agreements covering hundreds of
thousands of civilian personnel. These people contribute to the
operation of the Department. It does not follow, however, that the
processes of negotiation and bargaining can or should be applied to
U. S. military forces.

 Members of the U. S. armed forces are prepared to fight -- and if
 necessary, to die -- to preserve our liberty and security. The key
to effective operation of the uniformed services depends on proper
functioning of the chain of command. Control, discipline, and
prompt obedience to the lawful orders of one's superiors are the
time-honored elements of our American military tradition. From the
earliest Articles of War -- adopted as we fought for our freedom in
the Revolution -- to the present Uniform Code of Military Justice
 (UCMJ) -- U.S. military laws and regulations have proscribed conduct
that would undermine the chain of command.

Laws governing both the civilian and military 'communities make
it clear that strikes, slowdowns, or similar job actions have no place
in the armed forces. The UCMJ, for example, prohibits desertion,
mutiny, or misbehavior before the enemy. A soldier may be punished
for disrespect toward a superior officer or NCO. Likewise, failure
to obey a lawful order or regulation may be punished under the Code.
Similar laws apply criminal sanctions to certain actions by civilians
which undermine military discipline or the chain or command,

The Department recognizes the importance of providing channels
for service members to present problems to the chain of command.
Such procedures currently include the Inspector General System and
complaints under Article 138 of the UCMJ. Thc development by
indiiidual commanders of open door policies, enlisted and junior

APPENDIX I                                                  APPENDIX I

officers councils, and similar programs attests to the flexibility of the
chain of command in providing appropriate means for communicating
complaint,   There is no place in the chain of command, however, for
organizations that would rely on bargaining and negotiation.

Members of the armed forces may join associations which promote
programs for the benefit of their members, but the activities of such
organizations have not and must not interfere with the lawful operation
of the chain of command. To the extent that military facilities are
involved, commanders have the power to regulate the time, place,
and mannes of the activity.

To date, the vast majority of such associations have functioned on the
basis of a positive relationship with the DoD and the military services.
The Department anticipates that the tenor of relations with these
associations as well as with those associations that might be formed in
the future will continue to be constructive.

The Department of Defense policy on this matter is as follows:

            Negotiation and bargaining. No member of the armed
            forces, or civilian employee of the Department of
            Defense, may negotiate or bargain o behalf of the
            United States, with respect to terms and conditions
           of military service of members of the armed forces,
           with any individual, organization or association
           which represents or purports to represent members
           of the armed forces; nor may any member of the
           armed forces, or civilian employee of the Depart-
           ment of Defense, recognize any individual, organiza-
           tion or association for any such purpose.

cc:   /'JCS