Building a mega-union

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 1 July 2000




(2000), "Building a mega-union", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Building a mega-union

Building a mega-union

Keywords: Germany, Trade Unions, Mergers and acquisitions

Five large German unions are merging to form a super-union. Supporters of the link say this is a good time to join forces to show - and strengthen - trade union power and seek new members, particularly in the fast-growing service sector. The new organisation will have three million members and be the world's largest.

Postal union leader, Kurt van Haaren, said the move was a response to the changes in the German economy and the arrival of the information era; clerical workers' union head, Roland Issen, saw the issue not as one of survival but of influence; otherwise (as he put it) the government might eventually have more say on workers' conditions than would unions.

The merger is the outcome of two years of bargaining. Eight unions started the negotiations; three subsequently dropped out. The five now involved are:

  1. 1.

    DAG (the clerical workers);

  2. 2.

    IG Medien (the broadcasters and publishing workers);

  3. 3.

    ÚTV (civil servants, transport and public employees);

  4. 4.

    DPG (postal and telecommunication); and

  5. 5.

    HBV (the retail banking and clerical workers).

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