Country Listing

Austria Table of Contents


The Chambers of Agriculture

The chambers of agriculture are the principal bodies representing agricultural interests. There is no federal body comparable to the Federal Economic Chamber, but the Conference of Presidents of the Chambers of Agriculture is the de facto representative of the nine provincial chambers in all matters undertaken at the national level. The provincial chambers, in addition to their representational role, function at the local level to modernize and promote agricultural production.

The Chambers of Labor

The chambers of labor, which are public corporations, differ from the labor unions, which are private voluntary organizations, principally in their official character. They were legally established in 1920 to give labor what employers had had since 1848 in the chambers of commerce and thereby to provide labor with a representative voice in the preparation of legislation affecting employees' social, economic, vocational, and cultural interests. The principal governmental function of the chambers is to advise on draft legislation and administrative regulations directly or indirectly affecting labor. Thus, the fields in which they are concerned can include food supply, public health, tariffs and trade, use of leisure time, adult education, employer-employee relations, job safety, social insurance, and the labor market.

Labor, like agriculture, has no chamber at the federal level. The Vienna chamber, however, carries out most of the federallevel functions and maintains a general secretariat for the Chamber of Labor Conference (Arbeitskammertag). This body consists of a large staff of experts having advisory roles in economic policy, statistics, law, and consumer protection.

Data as of December 1993