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IG Metall

Full name German Metalworkers' Union
Native name Industriegewerkschaft Metall
Members 2.27 million[1]
Affiliation DGB
Key people Jörg Hofmann, president
Office location Frankfurt, Germany
Country Germany
IG Metall Headquarters in Frankfurt

IG Metall (German: Industriegewerkschaft Metall, "Industrial Union of Metalworkers'") is the dominant metalworkers' union in Germany, making it the country's largest union[1] as well as Europe's largest industrial union.[2] Analysts of German labor relations consider it a major trend-setter in national bargaining.

The name refers to the union's metalworkers roots dating back to the start of unions in imperial Germany in the 1890s, though this formal organization was founded post-ware in 1949 .[3] Over the years the union has taken on representation in industries beyond mining of minerals to include manufacturing and industrial production, machinists, printing industry, which includes modern automobile manufacturing and steel production as part of its blue-collar root, but also includes more white-collar sectors such as electrical and other forms of engineeering, information systems, and with the combining of formerly separate unions for workers in wood, plastics, textiles and clothing, includes non-metal blue-collar workers. [3]

Major accomplishments of IG Metall in the German labor market include, applied to the regions/covered employees:[3]

  • 5 day work week (1959)
  • Paid vacation time consessions (1962)
  • 40 hr work week (1965–67)
  • Paid sick leave (1970)
  • 35 hr work week (attempts not yet successful 1984)
  • 34 hr work week in metal industry (1995)

IGM is a member of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB). IGM is also a member of some international union umbrella organisations.


  • Recent history 1
  • Organisation structure 2
    • Regional districts 2.1
    • Chairpersons 2.2
  • metall magazine 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
  • Further reading 6

Recent history

On April 1, 1998 the Gewerkschaft Textil und Bekleidung (GTB), the trade union of textile and clothing joined IGM.
On January 1, 2000 the Gewerkschaft Holz und Kunststoff (GHK), the trade union of wood and plastics joined IGM.

Deals agreed by IG Metall in the pilot region of Baden-Württemberg, an industrial and car-making hub and home to Daimler and Bosch, traditionally serve as a template for agreements across the country.[4]

Today, IG Metall mainly represents employees at major car makers such as Daimler, BMW, Porsche and industrial giant Siemens. Its membership had been dropping in recent decades, yet the union managed to somewhat reverse that trend recenly by gaining 30,000 members between 2010 and 2015.[1]

Organisation structure

Regional districts

IGM consists of 7 Bezirke (districts) which are subdivided in Verwaltungstellen (administrative areas):

  • Bezirk Baden-Württemberg headquarters located in Stuttgart; 28 Verwaltungstellen
  • Bezirk Bayern ( Bavaria ) headquarters located in Munich; 21 Verwaltungstellen
  • Bezirk Berlin-Brandenburg-Sachsen ( Berlin + Brandenburg + Saxony ) headquarters located in Berlin; 12 Verwaltungstellen
  • Bezirk Frankfurt ( Saarland + Rhineland-Palatinate + Hesse + Thuringia ) headquarters located in Frankfurt/Main; 27 Verwaltungstellen
  • Bezirk Küste ( "Küste"= "Sea Coast" ) ( Bremen + Hamburg + Schleswig-Holstein + Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ) headquarters located in Hamburg; 19 Verwaltungstellen
  • Bezirk Niedersachsen und Sachsen-Anhalt ( Lower Saxony + Saxony-Anhalt ) headquarters located in Hanover; 20 Verwaltungstellen
  • Bezirk Nordrhein-Westfalen ( North Rhine-Westphalia ) headquarters located in Düsseldorf; 47 Verwaltungstellen


  • 1949-1950: Hans Brümmer, Walter Freitag, Wilhelm Petersen
  • 1950-1952: Hans Brümmer // 2nd chairman: Walter Freitag
  • 1952-1956: Hans Brümmer // 2nd chairman: Otto Brenner
  • 1956-1968: Otto Brenner
  • 1968-1972: Otto Brenner // 2nd chairman: Eugen Loderer
  • 1972-1983: Eugen Loderer // 2nd chairman: Hans Mayr
  • 1983-1986: Hans Mayr // 2nd chairman: Franz Steinkühler
  • 1986-1989: Franz Steinkühler // 2nd chairman: Karl-Heinz Jansen
  • 1989-1993: Franz Steinkühler // 2nd chairman: Klaus Zwickel
  • 1993-1998: Klaus Zwickel // 2nd chairman: Walter Riester
  • 1998-2003: Klaus Zwickel // 2nd chairman: Jürgen Peters
  • 2003-2007: Jürgen Peters // 2nd chairman: Berthold Huber
  • 2007-2013: Berthold Huber // 2nd chairman: Detlef Wetzel
  • 2013-2015: Detlef Wetzel // 2nd chairman: Jörg Hofmann
  • 2015-____: Jörg Hofmann // 2nd chairwoman: Christiane Benner

metall magazine

The IGM magazine metallzeitung has existed since 1949. In 2005 it had a circulation of over 2 million per issue. There are 12 issues per year.


  1. ^ a b c Erik Kirschbaum (June 8, 2015), Moderate head of powerful German union steps down unexpectedly Reuters.
  2. ^ Hendrik Sackmann (May 18, 2012), German IG Metall, employers confirm 4.3 percent wage deal Reuters.
  3. ^ a b c WorldHeritage DE
  4. ^ Ilona Wissenbach (July 30, 2015), Germany's IG Metall union agrees 3.4 pct wage rise Reuters.

External links

  • German homepage
  • English section of German Homepage
  • online version of the magazine, in German

Further reading

  • Thelen, Kathleen. 1993. West European Labor in Transition: Sweden and Germany Compared. World Politics 46, no. 1 (October): 23-49.

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