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