Modernization Push

Labor Pains at IG Metall

dpatopbilder Werftarbeiter fordern am 19.02.2015 vor dem Werkstor der Neptun-Werft in Rostock (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) bei einem Warnstreik mehr Geld bei den laufenden Tarifverhandlungen. Die IG Metall Küste hat an verschiedenen Standorten in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern zu Aktionen aufgerufen. Die Gewerkschaften fordert 5,5 Prozent mehr Geld sowie einen erweiterten Zugang zur Altersteilzeit und eine vom Arbeitgeber bezuschusste Weiterbildung. Foto: Jens Büttner/dpa [ Rechtehinweis: Verwendung weltweit, usage worldwide ]
IG Metall union members show their true colors at a rally.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s IG Metall, the world’s largest trade union, has a major influence on the country’s labor policies.

  • Facts


    • Detlef Wetzel stepped down as head of IG Metall at this week’s trade congress in Frankfurt.
    • His replacement is Jörg Hofmann, a 59-year-old economist and longtime wage negotiator.
    • IG Metall secured a 3.4 percent wage increase earlier this year, its biggest increase in years.
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Germany’s powerful metalworkers’ union, IG Metall, sees itself as a modern labor organization.

While at past trade union congresses delegates were easily recognizable by their heavy rucksacks full of files, at this year’s event everything fit on an app or PC tablet. The world’s largest labor union is also renewing its pursuit of members through the Internet.

And this week, IG Metall broke even more new ground at its congress in Frankfurt where for the first time in its nearly 125-year history, the labor union elected a woman, 47-year-old Christiane Benner, as its deputy chairperson.

But if you look at the union’s contradictory agenda for the next four years, you might wonder if it has truly arrived in the future.

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