Dredging Association - Vereinigung der Nassbaggerunternehmungen e.V.

After the end of World War I, 13 companies involved either solely or partly in the field of dredging joined together to found the Vereinigung der Nassbaggerunternehmungen (VdN) in December 1918. The Association’s objective was analysis and resolution of prevailing problems, in particular working and wage conditions in the dredging industry. True entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a mutual loyalty and fairness carried the VdN through the heavy inflation of the 1920’s and high unemployment up until the 1930’s.

The National Socialist Regime’s system of “enforced conformity” could not break the spirit and the independence of the VdN.

After the Second World War, an allied decree prohibited all economic associations and initially put an end to the VdN.

But in 1946 some former member companies initiated negotiations with the British occupying powers in Hamburg with the aim of reinstating the VdN. After lengthy negotiations, examination of the political pasts of its members and submission of new Articles of Association in both German and English, in early 1947 permission was granted to restart and the VdN was inscribed in the Register of Associations that same Spring. And since then the VdN has once again been acting in the spirit of its original founders from 1918. The fact that this spirit has been preserved makes us confident that the VdN will endure in the coming decades.

The VdN is a trade association with its headquarters in Hamburg and currently 15 medium-sized dredging and marine construction member companies. Members may be independent German companies and enterprises whose dredging equipment is inscribed in a European Union Ships’ Register.

The purpose of the association is the preservation, representation and promotion of the common interests of the member companies. The VdN operates as a consultant for public authorities, corporations and other construction industry-related bodies, offering advice and expertise on economical, technical and legal matters in the dredging industry.

Where the workforce is concerned, the VdN acts as an employers’ association and has sovereignty in wage bargaining in cooperation with the trade unions. The VdN is prohibited from exercising business activities.

The entrepreneurial initiative of member companies has done much to advance the development and employment of state-of-the-art technology.

The supply and advancement of a powerful and versatile fleet with the necessary highly-qualified employees are a prerequisite for successful business operations.

Fierce competition means equipment has to be continually adapted and updated. A basic utilization of the equipment fleet is required to cover the necessary capital investments, and this can only be guaranteed through first-rate and sustainable acquisition activities.

Qualified training and education of employees must therefore be encouraged and adjusted to meet increasing demands. In this respect, our neighbouring countries to the west, particularly Holland, set a good example.