The GPA today is the largest labor union in Austria. Its history dates back to the second half of the 19th century, to the beginning of the Austrian workers’ movement. In the last decades it – just like many other unions – has been faced with difficult challenges resulting from accelerated economic and technological changes, crises, and new political frameworks. At the same time, the newest developments in the GPA also represent a period in which it has reacted to new problems with numerous innovations. Apart from an extensive historical review this publication also focuses on the developments since the 1990s.
The authors, Maria Wirth and Sabine Lichtenberger, portray a “union in movement” and illuminate structural reforms and member development as well as central demands and accomplishments in labor market as well as social policy. The publication provides information about innovations in collective wage agreements, outlines the GPA’s international commitments and shows which central actors have shaped the union’s development from its first precursor movements to the present.