Stefan Dietl and Kathrin Birner
“The rise of the AfD is something that shocks unions. It has not remained concealed from us that many of its voters are employed in our companies”, commented Christiane Benner, vice president of the German metal workers union IG Metall (1), when confronted with the outcome of yet another successful federal state election for the comparatively new nationalist party “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD), which translates as “Alternative for Germany”.
Founded in 2013 as a result of an ongoing crisis of both neoliberal and conservative forces within the mainstream parties (Friedrich 2015; Friedrich 2017; Werner 2015; Weiß 2017), the AfD rapidly emerged as an important actor on the political stage. Unlike previous attempts of right-wing coalitions that failed to install themselves as a serious alternative for the voters, the party succeeded in influencing the agenda with its positions, attracting thousands of supporters and taking seats in all 13 (out of 16) federal state parliaments that held elections between 2014 and 2017. With the 2017 upcoming national elections in September, the right-wing party intends to establish itself as a permanent factor, at least for the next four years. After the AfD first became known as the “Anti-EU” party that called for an end of the European
Union and a return to national currencies (Kemper 2013), it now stands for a variety of issues. Häusler and Roeser (2015) showed that the AfD is mostly concerned about unregulated immigration, associating it with increased criminality and the assumed Islamization of Germany, but also postulates the more traditional gender roles, the end of “political correctness”, and the cut of minority rights. Kemper (2016) called it a party that stands for group-related enmity, i.e. inequality at all levels – economy, education, culture. The party became especially known for its racist comments and demands. Former party leader Bernd Lucke, who succumbed in an internal conflict to an even more radical wing in 2015, called migrants without sufficient knowledge of German a “social residuum that will persist in our social systems”.(2) The 2015 migration peak, when about 900,000 refugees arrived in Germany, was taken up by the AfD for campaigning against this “foreign infiltration”. They pressed criminal charges for “human trafficking” against Chancellor Angela Merkel and warned that all refugees coming to Europe would now stay in Germany. AfD leaders demanded that the border patrol officers should use weapons if refugees couldn´t otherwise be stopped from crossing the border illegally.(3) AfD vice chairman Gauland called the refugee arrivals a gift for the AfD that had helped the party to grow.(4) The first national AfD program in 2016 reflects the enormous role of immigration for the party. The AfD demands accelerated deportations, regardless of any legal concerns, supports the construction of reception centers in Northern Africa so that refugees would not reach Europe, calls for the reintroduction of comprehensive border controls, and would like to use soldiers for carrying them out (Dietl 2017). The AfD also propagates a return to a citizenship by right of blood (ius sanguinis) instead of the current birthright citizenship (ius soli), and would like to see more restrictions on immigration in general.
From the very beginning, the AfD has received a high turnout among unionized workers. Surveys from several state elections show that up to 25 per cent of union members (DGB 2016b) voted for the nationalist party, often more than the average population. This electoral phenomenon has been accompanied by severe controversies within the unions, for instance, when an influential works council member at the last coal mine in Germany left the social-democrats (SPD) and ran as an AfD candidate for the state elections (Dietl 2016b). The debate has reached the company level, where the AfD positions find large resonance among the workers – and threaten to split the unionized workers over this question. In this context, it is important to stress that German unions are politically non-partisan based on their charter. Derived from the experience of German history, where the insurmountable division between different political unions frustrated resistance to the rise of the NS regime, the German umbrella organization (DGB) and its member unions committed themselves to the principle of a general trade union without any affiliation relating to party politics, religious denominations or ethnic identities.(5) While membership is thus not based on certain political views, the unions nevertheless speak up against policies or positions that are hostile towards unionist interests, including racist or sexist demands. The goal to put “an end to discrimination based on gender, racist stereotyping, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation”(6) is also enshrined in the DGB constitution. Therefore it came as no surprise that the leading union functionaries warned workers against following the AfD. IG Metall president Hofmann announced that racism would not be tolerated, and ver.di president Bsirske described the AfD as a party acting against the workers’ interests.(7)
Subsequently, the DGB and its member unions produced brochures about the AfD (DGB 2017; DGB 2016a), launched seminars and educational programs to prepare functionaries for the debates at work, mostly borne by their local chapters (Dietl 2017), and joined local coalitions that mobilize against AfD activities in town. One of the key elements of unionist education on the AfD is to illuminate its neoliberal agenda. This is based on the assumption that most workers know little about the AfD´s social and economic program and that they will be less likely to support a party that contradicts their interests.
The following chapters will therefore explore how strong market authoritarian elements are played out by an increasing “social” rhetoric within the AfD and whether workers support the AfD despite its neoliberal agenda or even because of it. These questions are important to revisit the existing trade unionist strategies against the right-wing vote, which have not proven successful to prevent the rise of the AfD and the support for right-wing positions among workers.
The AfD´s neoliberal agenda vs. its “social” demands
As the AfD emerged from a coalition of neoliberal economists and conservatives, it comes as no surprise that its first economic and social policy proposals bore the signature of market authoritarianism (Kemper 2013). The concept of market authoritarianism assumes that society can only progress if all social relations are reconfigured to follow utilitarian and rational market mechanisms, thus the subordination of state actions to the demands of the economy (Soros 2008; Butterwegge 2009; Schreiner 2015). The AfD rejected the introduction of the minimum wage, demanded cuts in social welfare and tax reductions for companies and heirs, among others. This strict primacy of advocating for deregulation and flexibilization has been complemented by a strand within the party that demands some regulatory measures, like the wing around party functionary Bernd Höcke. Dietl (2017) points out that these protectionist demands should not be mistaken for mere tactical arguments but instead represent an existing conflict between the neoliberal faction and the racial nationalist wing. Racial nationalism defines the national collective based on a blood and soil ideology which implies that any social protectionist measures should only target the own ethnic group in order to shelter it from the perceived external threats such as transnational capital and foreign “invaders”; more comprehensive definitions of the nation are considered as betrayal by the “establishment” (Grigat 2017). Social protectionism in a nationalist sense is thus very distinct from an emancipatory approach but it also appears to contradict a strict neoliberal agenda. It is therefore valid to expect that one of the two strands will disappear in the AfD in the long run (Galow-Bergemann 2016). Dietl (2017), however, argues that both the neoliberal and the racial nationalist strand coincide in their central demands. Let us therefore examine how both factions have influenced the current AfD program that was adopted in May 2016. For this purpose, four examples out of its social and economic agenda will be briefly discussed .
1) Tax policies
Tax policies have played an important role in the AfD´s agenda from the very beginning as it is aiming at reliefs for the middle classes. For instance, the AfD has been propagating the restructuring of the income tax. The 2016 national program calls for a replacement of the currently progressive taxes from 0 to 45 per cent by a graduated income tax rate. Such models became mainly prominent in 2005 thanks to professor Kirchhof, who proposed graduated tax rates at 15, 20 and 25 percent, and have been criticized for benefitting the rich and putting additional financial strain on lower income recipients (Truger 2005). The AfD does not explicitly refer to the Kirchhof model in its program, but important party leaders have done so in other contexts. Even though the taxable income is reduced by a basic allowance, which the AfD would like to keep and raise, low income households are negatively affected by a non-progressive increase of the tax load. In addition to that, it can be doubted that the total tax revenue for the state would remain the same if the highest income tax rate is almost cut in half, as in the Kirchhof model.
This trend would even be aggravated, as the AfD also demands to abolish several other taxes. The local business tax is currently one of the most important revenue sources at the municipal level but, according to the party, it prevents investments. Its abolishment should increase the competitiveness among municipalities and federal states, especially since the party also wants to remove the joint liability for losses between the different levels of government. At the moment, municipalities that have more expenditures than revenues can be supported by the state or federal administration and thus will not go bankrupt. Dietl (2017) argues that this could have an enormous impact on a municipality´s ability to fulfill its tasks and pay the wages of its public servants. To mention but one more example from the taxing policy proposals, the AfD also postulates the abolishment of the inheritance tax, arguing that this tax punishes high performers and families. Political scientist Nocun (2016) pointed out that the tax exemption limit in Germany is already comparatively high for the inheritance tax, so that the richest two per cent would benefit from this policy the most.
As can be seen, the tax policy proposals by the AfD are unmistakenly driven by a neoliberal view, and the racial-nationalist wing did not intervene here with their more “social” demands.
2) Social welfare and public expenditure
The AfD´s taxing plans go hand in hand with its position to reduce social benefits, such as the unemployment aid. The idea that has been pronounced by several leaders is to cut the aid and establish “citizen jobs” instead, i.e. volunteering in charitable projects for a certain amount of money. Unions have warned that similar measures in the past have often replaced normal jobs, and that this work is often not voluntary. But it reflects the AfD´s utilitarian approach to social welfare. According to its program, the party would prefer to limit the state´s role to just four pillars: internal and external security, judiciary, foreign policy, and fiscal authority. Social welfare, such as health care, pensions, accident insurance, and unemployment aid, is not seen as a primary state task. Main party leaders have maintained that these social securities should instead be provided by the individuals or their families (Kemper 2014). The strengthening of the family lies at the core of the AfD program in many ways, mostly where it deals with gender roles and family values, but the connection between reducing available state revenue through tax cuts and shifting major state spending on social issues to the realm of the private household is evident. Not surprisingly, the national program also stipulates more privatizations, arguing that more competition and a smaller public expenditure quota would be better for all. This very limited role for the state, which reflects a neoliberal logic that openly reduces the state to a facilitator for capitalist production, is only feathered by the idea to implement referendums before public utilities are privatized, which was the only concession to a more active role for the state as demanded by the racial nationalist proponents (Dietl 2017). Interestingly, strengthening the family is presented as the main cushion for those left behind – a view that seems to appeal to both market authoritarians, who want a lean government, and also to racial nationalists, who want to return to more traditional families with higher birth rates in order to fight the perceived “foreign infiltration”.
3) Minimum wage
When the minimum wage was introduced in Germany in 2015, AfD party leader Petry called it a “job killer”, and a “neosocialist” program that would result in poverty for those employed in classic “tipping jobs” such as the services sector(8). The AfD’s opposition to the minimum wage was widely known and also verbalized by prominent party members in the 2016 program debate. However, the racial nationalist wing pushed for a change on this question with the argument to protect Germans from wage dumping through the newly arrived refugees. This line of argument was adopted in the final program, calling for a minimum wage level to counter the pressure on the wage levels caused by the ongoing mass migration. As Dietl (2017) points out, this combination of the racist suggestion that refugees “flooding” Germany represent a danger for the economic security of German workers with a concession to a minimum wage that is defined nowhere in the program and thus leaves room for interpretation, represents a position that both the market authoritarians and the racial nationalists can agree on. This allows to spread the message that the party wants to protect Germans from foreigners who threaten to take away their jobs, while it would still be compatible with the models that freeze the minimum wage to the 2015 level or create even more exceptions from the minimum wage for “low performers” such as long-time unemployed, job entrants or the unemployed unwilling to cooperate.
4) Educational system
Concern for the education system has been a driving force for the major platforms from which the AfD emerged. One of them was a movement against changes in the curriculum of a federal state that intended to introduce education on non-heterosexual (LGBTI) orientations. The protagonists were afraid that these curriculum changes would expose children to these contexts too early, “sexualize” them and “indoctrinate” them with gender mainstreaming ideas. This concern for traditional values plays a major role in the section on education in the 2016 national AfD program. Besides that, the program stresses the importance of performance and takes on a utilitarian approach to the education system. It essentially boils down to keeping a strongly selective system or re-introducing it in those federal states that have reformed it during the last decades. The three-tier school system separates students at relatively low ages and assigns them to different school types. Schooling differs in its total length and subsequently the type of certificate that can be obtained, which, in turn, is decisive for the access to certain vocational schools, apprenticeships, or university. Many studies have shown that children from a lower class household are less likely to reach the university-access tier of the educational system than children from academic households, so that an early selection affects them most negatively (Middendorff et al. 2012). Despite that, the AfD aims to strengthen the existing differentiation in order to give high performers the best possible learning environment, and to provide the economy with the best graduates. While this utilitarian position is in line with a neoliberal logic, it also represents the racial nationalist view that seeks to strengthen the national economy. As Dietl (2017) sums up, the social Darwinism in the educational system unites both strands.
All four examples reflect the competing factions but also illustrate that the neoliberal and the racial nationalist positions overlap on central terms, as Dietl (2017) shows in more detail. To sum up, the neoliberal imprint on the AfD´s social policies is slightly more visible, and any social measures portrayed by the racial nationalist wing are reserved for “Germans only”. Its neoliberalism can thus be compared to a “fitness program for the nation” (Grigat 2017). Given that most workers would be affected negatively by this agenda, it can be assumed that more knowledge about this neoliberal character would prevent them from supporting the AfD.
Do workers support the AfD despite its neoliberal agenda – or because of it?
As mentioned above, there have been many efforts by German trade unions to educate workers about the neoliberal agenda of the AfD. Anecdotal evidence shows that few had read the party program and appeared surprised by the extent of neoliberal ideas, for instance when it comes to the cuts in public expenditures. In that sense, the approach seems successful because the unionist multipliers who mainly attend such trainings find the new arguments helpful for the debates at work, especially since they prefer discussing social and economic issues with their colleagues instead of addressing their racist positions. This experience suggests that simply more information seems needed to deter more workers from supporting a party that acts against their economic interests.
That requires, however, that workers realize that neoliberal policies would affect them negatively. This assumption is challenged by both empirical and theoretical aspects.
First, social studies on the French Front National have shown that most of its supporters, including the workers, agreed with its neoliberal agenda and that this correlates with the fact that many respondents considered themselves as future entrepreneurs or identified with the small-to-medium business they were employed by (Gaxie 2006; Chwala 2014). In a way, these workers want their future as a small business owner to be paved and freed from bureaucratic obstacles, or they want their employer to perform well because they themselves feel more like a company family member than an employee. They perceive regulations not as protection but as something that harms them in the end, thus they object market interferences. Dietl (2017) argues that these observations could be projected to the AfD because of the similarity of their voters´ base and because the AfD´s policies aim at strengthening small-to-medium enterprises. A comparable German study showed that market fundamentalist positions, i.e. those with a merely competitive and utilitarian perspective, are broadly shared in lower social strata and that market fundamentalists often agree with right-wing political views (Zick/Klein 2014).
Secondly, on a more theoretical level, it has to be acknowledged that workers do not automatically grasp their objective role in the production process, nor does this entail any emancipatory approach or the willingness to collective action. Lukàcs (2013 ) described that the reification of social relations in capitalism allows only a fetishized perspective; the proletariat does not gain class consciousness per se but can still become the subject of revolution. In Germany, the “rupture in civilization” (Diner 2008) through the Holocaust has caused philosophers to doubt the existence of the proletariat as a revolutionary subject (Adorno 1968). While this article can neither adequately address the emancipatory potential of the proletariat nor discuss the sociological implications of what defines a worker today, it can be argued that an ideological pre-determination of workers is highly improbable. Instead, it is indeed very likely that the neoliberal logic has also left its imprint on workers. An endless exposure to the tools for self-optimization, self-persuasion literature, and casting shows, paired with the technological devices to record, publish, and compare performance, have led to an unparalleled subordination under the paradigm of this so-called freedom to perform, according to Schreiner (2015).
It can therefore be concluded that a certain affinity for neoliberal positions among some workers can be backed by both empirical and theoretical considerations, and that this part of the AfD supporters among unionists cannot be reached through revealing its social and economic agenda. As we saw above, many multipliers preferred discussing the neoliberal character of the party with their colleagues instead of addressing its racism or sexism. In face of these circumstances, this option alone will not be sufficient. It requires tackling the uncomfortable question of why workers support right-wing positions such as racism.
Why is the right-wing vote attractive for workers – what unionist strategies need to be revisited?
It seems indispensable to explore why so many union members are prone to vote for an “anti-immigration” party, a roll-back in gender equality, cuts of minority rights, delegitimization of “political correctness”, bashing of the socially weak, and resistance to the inclusion of disabled people, to name but a few of the political goals of the AfD.
While the unions in Germany are proud of their antifascist tradition, it had been long ignored that union members could vote for right-wing parties. As mentioned above, the DGB unions are not affiliated to any specific party but it was assumed that union members had to be “immune” to racism. It was not until the end of the 1990s that the DGB admitted that also union members were casting their vote for right-wing parties, giving way for the image of unions as mirrors of the society, which was then confirmed in several studies (DGB 2000; Stöss et al. 2004). This research showed that about 20 per cent of the unionists supported authoritarian or racist statements, with the unskilled workers being most receptive to right-wing extremism. This was comparable to the average population, but what stroke many was that the skilled and white collar workers in middle management jobs voted right-wing above the average if they were unionized. The observation about the middle segment being more susceptible to authoritarian thinking is backed by other studies; it is believed that the middle class constantly fears to slide down the social ladder and is therefore more likely to call for “strong” leaders or isolationist measures while looking for scapegoats to blame for the dooming social abyss, especially in times of crises. Stöss (2017) describes the unionized middle class respondents as “likely to consider themselves as having been pillars of their unions (functionaries, works council representatives) and winners of a successful wage and employment policy as well as beneficiaries of economic prosperity” who were now exposed to a double loss; the loss in status and privileges due to modernization and a changed labor market, and the loss in political influence in the massive reforms of the early 2000s, when the earlier unionist successes were cut down by the government.
The skilled and white collar workers represent the majority of today´s membership base, so that the number of members susceptible to authoritarian thinking might even have risen. A rise in racism is also likely because of the general trends in Germany. A long-term study on political views of the population and its support for authoritarian positions showed a rise in support for violence against foreigners and a high level of insecurity because of a perceived “foreign infiltration” (Decker et al. 2016). At the same time, the number of attacks against migrants skyrocketed. The police registered a total of 1,031 attacks on refugee housings in 2015, and 995 in 2016; numbers dropped in 2017, when a total of 127 attacks was counted until June.(9)
It is evident that this openly lived racism including the violence involved requires a societal answer, especially since many silently applauded. The general rise of racism has been fought by several actors, including the unions, with public campaigns. Many of these activities are targeted at the “silent” bystanders and seek to strengthen their confidence to speak up against racism. As Dietl (2017) emphasizes, these efforts need to be continued and expanded even though they will most likely reach only part of the membership directly. Their function for feeding multipliers and for the way unions positions themselves in these days should not be underestimated.
Aside from the strategies of general anti-racist campaigns, the results of prior research that demystified the “immunity” of union members to authoritarian thinking suggested that there are several topics that can and need to be specifically addressed by unions.
Stöss (2017) holds up his 2004 recommendation that unions should “conceive of themselves as communities of values – i.e., not only as job-market cartels or even as service companies for the individual promotion of their members – and strive to make this fact clear in their internal and external communications”. This view stresses the danger of a strict business unionist attitude, given that the members who ask for a service will not be interested in discussing political views or visions with their service provider.
Dietl (2017) argues that the corporatist tradition of German trade unions as well as the wide-spread locational nationalism should be tackled in order to adequately address the reasons specific to the unionists’ susceptibility to the AfD´s rhetoric.
First, the corporatist tradition of German trade unions refers to the long-term arrangement between unions, the state, and the economy that enabled many social improvements through social dialogue instead of industrial action. The comparatively low number of strike days in Germany underlines the ongoing importance of social dialogue. There is, however, reasonable doubt that the times during which workers and the unemployed benefitted from it have ended, as is mentioned by Dietl (2016a). He refers to the major social cuts that were promoted by the so-called “agenda 2010”, a program by the coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party that completely restructured the social welfare system and deregulated the labor market. The “agenda 2010” was mainly implemented from 2003 to 2005; many politicians regard it as a success story because it reduced unemployment, while critics counter that the “agenda” created an unprecedented low income sector, put an end to regular job biographies, increased poverty rates and social inequality, and exacerbated the impact on foreign economies such as Greece (Baumeister et al. 2005; Butterwegge 2009; Spannagel 2016). Since the unions participated in developing some of these reforms through the social dialogue, and could not prevent these social cuts when it became clear where they were going, many members have become disillusioned. Instead of changing gears, social dialogue is still featured as the main strategy for most issues, so there has not been a visible shift towards an active reconfiguration of the political role of unions. This creates distrust among members and potential members, which can range from frustration to accusations that unions are becoming of the “establishment”, as those who “betrayed” the “little ones”.
Social movement unionism, i.e. grassroots-based campaigns that address issues beyond the workplace and also involve other actors, could be a recipe for some of the policies that the unions would like to change. For instance, there is consensus among all the larger parties to keep the regular retirement age at 67 or even raise it. Large parts of the union members would prefer to have it lowered, as well as large parts of the population. It would require a massive bottom-up campaign to even put this demand on the agenda. Involving members in such a campaign would indeed require that the current weaknesses be openly admitted by means of a social dialogue – but it would also make it more transparent why unions criticize such issues but cannot change them through social dialogue. Right now, unions appear reluctant to change them and thus become part of the “conspiracy”. This wrong conclusion could be
corrected. Or, as Stöss (2017) puts it: “Nothing works better to keep employees and trade union members away from far-right interpretations and temptations than the experience of affecting, achieving, or changing something in the company, trade union, or political realm through their own actions and participation.” While the dichotomy of success and emancipatory politics on the one hand, loss and right-wing views on the other hand, may sound oversimplified, there is a lot of truth in the observation that unions have the potential to become visible as an actor for political change in times when the major parties are conceived of as the ones who produced the social cuts and job market deregulations in the first place. And the unions have had some positive experiences with social movement unionism (Birner 2014), such as the campaign for the minimum wage.
Secondly, locational nationalism is used in the sense that unions tend to side up with “their” companies in order to keep local production sites from relocating. While unionist concerns about jobs are normal, these support notes for the national production site and the company can easily take on a nationalist tone that ignores the situation of workers elsewhere and how the global economy is interconnected. The political scientist Butterwegge, who coined the term of locational nationalism in Germany, observed that German workers tend to view their own company as threatened by a hostile world of competitors; they share pride for “German” quality and punctuality, and often possess a high willingness to accept sacrifices for the company (Butterwegge 2016). German unions have contributed much to this locational nationalism, something that should be avoided in the future. Instead, German unions have to intensify their international relations and move on from mere meetings and lip service to truly coordinated global industrial action and solidarity (Birner 2015). This requires, again, a drastic change in strategies, but also an enormous effort of internationalization “at home”. While programs of unionist exchange have been successfully taking place, German migrant unionization is still lagging behind most other unions with comparable migrant rates. Migrants who work as skilled workers are also integrated in German unions. But migrants in informal jobs and insecure surroundings are rarely targeted for unionization, just as their non-migrant colleagues in these precarious jobs. There are, however, some projects worth mentioning, like the DGB’s “fair mobility” centers in several cities that offer translation and legal counseling to mobile workers from Eastern Europe and the legal counseling for undocumented workers and migrants organized by the DGB or ver.di. However, these services are provided with very limited staff or completely run by volunteers, and can thus only be found in major cities. Staffing these offices with enough resources and expanding a counseling network to smaller cities would be the first step to truly tackling precarious migrant workers – and could also contribute to a more diverse membership that gains a hands-on experience of what international solidarity could look like.
Both the discussion about the future of corporatism and the question of how to revive an internationalist, social movement unionism does not mean that the current activities on the AfD should be abandoned. The research, the brochures, the educational programs, the rallies, the debates and the situations in which unionists have clearly stated that racism is never acceptable have certainly created a high awareness among workers; these activities should be continued. Without a truly internationalist union culture, however, the unionists´ susceptibility to authoritarian thinking is likely to remain in place.
Published for: XII Global Labour University Conference: Reincarnation or Death of Neoliberalism? The rise of market authoritarianism and its challenges for labour, 4 – 6 Oct. 2017, New Delhi, India
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(1) See SWR 2. 2016. “Christiane Benner, zweite Vorsitzende der IG Metall im Gespräch mit Mathias Zahn“, 10 Sept. Available at: http://www.swr.de/swr2/programm/sendungen/interview-der-woche/swr2-interview-der-woche-christiane-benner-zweite-vorsitzende-der-ig-metall/-/id=659202/did=17857612/nid=659202/kzq9km/index.html. Own translation.
(2) See Süddeutsche Zeitung. 2013. „Afd-Chef warnt vor sozialen Bodensatz“, 13 Sept. Available at: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/zuwanderung-als-wahlkampfthema-afd-chef-warnt-vor-sozialem-bodensatz-1.1769714. Own translation.
(3) See Kölner Express. 2015. „Skandal-Forderung: AfD-Politiker Marcus Pretzell will Flüchtlinge mit Waffen stoppen!“, 2 Nov. Available at: http://www.express.de/news/skandal-forderung-afd-politiker-marcus-pretzell-will-fluechtlinge-mit-waffen-stoppen–23094688
(4) See Spiegel. 2015. „AfD-Vize Gauland sieht Flüchtlingskrise als Geschenk“, 12 Dec. Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/afd-alexander-gauland-sieht-fluechtlingskrise-als-geschenk-a-1067356.html
(5) See: DGB. -. “Our functions and principles”. Available at: http://en.dgb.de/our-functions-and-principles
(6) See: ibid.
(7) See Deutschlandfunk. 2015. “Wer hetzt, der fliegt“, 24 Oct. Available at: http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/ig-metall-chef-joerg-hofmann-wer-hetzt-der-fliegt.868.de.html?dram:article_id=334950 ; Neues Deutschland. 2016. “Ver.di-Chef Bsirske: ´AfD noch mehr gegen Interessen von Beschäftigten als FDP´”, 29 Sept. Available at: https://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/1026669.dem-empoerungsgestus-entgegentreten.html
(8) See Presseportal. 2015. „ Petry: ´Schluss mit ideologiegeladener Arbeitsmarktpolitik´ Pressemitteilung“, 28 Apr. Available at: www.presseportal.de/pm/110332/3008345
(9) See Welt. 2017. „Angriffe auf Asylunterkünfte gehen deutlich zurück“, 23 Jun. Available at: https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article165852703/Angriffe-auf-Asylunterkuenfte-gehen-deutlich-zurueck.html