IG Metall

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Industrial Union of Metal
(IG Metall)
founding September 1, 1949
Seat Frankfurt am Main GermanyGermany
precursor German Metalworkers Association
main emphasis labor union
Chair Jörg Hofmann
Members 2,262,571 (2019)
Website www.igmetall.de
IG Metall administration building in Frankfurt am Main
Administration from the main page
IG Metall Jugend at the May 1st demonstration against the NPD march in Hamburg in 2008

The IG Metall ( industrial union metal , IGM ) is with 2.26 million members before Verdi the largest single union in the Federal Republic of Germany and also the world's largest organized employee representation. After the membership figures declined in the 1990s and 2000s (IG Metall had 2.679 million members in 1990), it has increased slightly since 2011. Around 500,000 members of the mass organization are senior citizens.

IG Metall is based in the Main Forum in Frankfurt am Main and represents the employees of the metal / electrical, steel, textile / clothing, wood / plastics and information and communication technology industries organized in it. She has only represented the textile / clothing and wood / plastics sectors since 1998 and 2000, respectively, when the Textile Clothing Union (GTB) and the Wood and Plastics Union (GHK) joined IG Metall.

The largest branch of IG Metall is Wolfsburg. Contrary to the national trend, at the end of 2009 the number of members at Volkswagen AG's headquarters exceeded 72,000 for the first time, 80,000 in 2012 and 90,000 in 2016.

IG Metall is a member of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), the European Metalworkers Union ( EMB), the International Metalworkers Union ( IMB), International Textile, Clothing and Leather Workers' Association (ITGLWF), International Federation of Construction and Woodworkers (IBBWW) and in the European Federation of Construction and Woodworkers.

IG Metall primarily represents the workers in the leading sector of the German economy, the metal and electrical industry, which with 3.64 million employees is the most important industrial sector, from which around 60% of all exports of the German economy originate (2011).

Their social and collective bargaining initiatives shaped the German social constitution, such as the enforcement of continued wages in the event of illness through a three-month labor dispute in Schleswig-Holstein , the labor disputes to enforce the 40-hour week under the motto "Saturday is my father's" in the 1960s , the six-week annual vacation (strike in the steel industry 1978/79) and the 35-hour week in the 1980s.

Numerous IG Metall executives are active in the supervisory boards of large corporations in addition to their work in the union. Most of their supervisory board remuneration goes to the Hans Böckler Foundation .

IG Metall is divided into seven districts: Coast, Baden-Württemberg , Bavaria, Berlin-Brandenburg-Saxony, Mitte (formerly the Frankfurt district; includes the states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Thuringia), Lower Saxony-Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine -Westphalia.

IG Metall maintains several central educational institutions, including the IG Metall Sprockhövel Education Center , the Lohr-Bad Orb Education Center and the IG Metall Education Center Berlin (Pichelssee).


The first workers' associations were founded in Germany before 1878, which Otto von Bismarck tried to prevent by means of the socialist laws until the 1890s . After it was abolished in 1890, the General Commission of the German Trade Unions was founded and one year later the German Metalworkers' Association (DMV), the most important predecessor organization of IG Metall. The DMV quickly developed into the largest German single trade union in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic . The first congress of the trade unions in Germany took place as early as 1892. Up until the beginning of the First World War in 1914, there were repeated large strikes of miners, metalworkers and shipyards. After the end of the war, the General German Trade Union Federation was founded in 1919 and freedom of association was anchored in the Weimar Constitution . In the same year collective agreements became legally binding for the first time. In the years that followed, various laws such as the Works Council Act of 1920 or the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1927 strengthened the role of the trade unions and thus also of the DMV.

In 1928, the DMV had a head office built on Kreuzberger Lindenstrasse in Berlin by the well-known architect Erich Mendelsohn . The union was broken up in 1933 by the National Socialists , who banned all free unions. In the years that followed, up to 1945, many former union members suffered repression up to and including execution.

In the post-war years, many trade unions in West Germany were re-established according to the principle of the unified trade union , IG Metall in 1949. In the same year, the founding congress of the DGB took place and the collective bargaining law was passed. As before in the constitution of the Weimar Republic, freedom of association was enshrined in the newly created Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany .

In 1951 the Codetermination Act was introduced , and in 1952 the Works Constitution Act was introduced. For the first time there was a collectively agreed special payment ( Christmas bonus ) in 1954 . In 1952, the Federal Labor Court banned the introduction of wage groups for women. In 1956/57 a strike over sick pay was called. The five-day week was first implemented in hard coal mining in 1959 . Eight years after its introduction, collectively agreed vacation pay , the 14th salary, was paid for the first time in 1962 . In 1963, the largest strike of 350,000 trade unionists took place in Baden-Württemberg. 5% more wages and 41 ¼ hours a week. The 40-hour week was introduced in the metal industry in 1967 (two years after the printing industry) . In 1970 the law on sick pay was passed.

According to the former DGB member Kurt Hirche, the assets of IG Metall amounted to around 631 million DM in 1972 .

The Works Constitution Act was amended in 1972. The stone cooler break of five minutes an hour was introduced in 1973 for assembly line workers in the Baden-Württemberg tariff area and partially adopted in other areas. From 1975 onwards, rationalization and income protection became the focus. In 1978 there was a strike around the 35-hour week in the steel industry . There was a strike in the metal industry in 1984. The 35-hour week has not (yet) been implemented. In 1990, West German collective bargaining structures were transferred to East Germany in stages .

The East and West German trade unions were united in 1991. The 35-hour week was implemented in the metal industry in 1995. In the same year there was the first attempt at an alliance for work . The full continued payment in the event of illness is guaranteed. The Works Constitution Act was reformed in 2001. When the collective bargaining was concluded in 2002, the Framework Agreement on Pay (ERA) was also concluded. In East Germany, strikes to introduce the 35-hour week largely failed, resulting in a leadership crisis in IG Metall. After long disputes, it was decided for the first time for the two Siemens plants in Kamp-Lintfort and Bocholt to return from the 35 to the 40-hour week. In 2011 IG-Metall supported the energy transition.

In the next few years up to 2020, IG Metall will no longer seek agreements on a collective reduction in working hours as it did in the 1980s; Instead, individually tailored working time models are to be negotiated with options for reducing working hours for care and support tasks, qualifications and flexible age transitions.

IG Metall's premium income in 2018 amounted to 586 million euros. In 2016, the number of members rose for the sixth time in a row, if only by 230.


The IG Metall's articles of association specify in particular:

  • 2. Achieving favorable wage, salary and working conditions through the conclusion of collective agreements;
  • 3. Democratization of the economy while keeping away from neo-fascist, militarist and reactionary elements;
  • 4. Obtaining and securing the right of co-determination of employees in the company and in the general economic area by setting up economic and social councils; Transfer of key industries and other market and economic dominant companies into common ownership;
  • 5. Participation in all vocational training, including school and university systems;
  • 6. Improvement and uniform design of democratic labor and social law;
  • 7. Securing the legal prerequisites for trade union freedom of action, in particular by prohibiting lockouts;
  • 8. Improvement of preventive health care and measures for occupational health and safety of workers;
  • 9. Representation and promotion of equal participation of disabled people and those at risk of disability in life in society, especially in working life;

Chairwoman of IG Metall

Jürgen Peters next to Huber, Rölke and Röder

All previous chairmen of IG Metall were or are members of the SPD . It has a certain tradition that the second chairman succeeds the first. Only Alois Wöhrle in 1969 and Karl-Heinz Janzen in 1992 retired without moving up as first chairman, while Walter Riester became Federal Minister of Labor in 1998 and therefore left.

Well-known members of IG Metall

  • Willi Bleicher - District Manager of the Stuttgart District (1959–1972)
  • Norbert Blüm - CDU, former Federal Minister of Labor in the Helmut Kohl cabinet
  • Klaus Franz - independent, temporarily Chairman of the General Works Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Opel AG
  • Regina Görner - CDU, former Saar Social Minister, from September 2005 to October 2011 executive board member of IG Metall
  • Peter Hartz - SPD, former Human Resources Director of Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg and Chairman of the Hartz Commission
  • Hubertus Heil - SPD, Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs
  • Willi Hoss - long-time member of the works council at Daimler-Benz (temporarily excluded as a representative of an opposition list) and co-founder of the Green Party
  • Uwe Hück - former works council chairman and former deputy supervisory board chairman of Porsche AG
  • Karl-Josef Laumann - CDU, Federal Patient Commissioner and State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Minister for Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (2005 to 2010 and since 2017)
  • Heiko Maas - SPD, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Merkel IV cabinet
  • Hans Matthöfer - SPD, former Federal Minister for Research and Technology (1974–1978), for Finance (1978–1982), for Post and Telecommunications (1982) in the Helmut Schmidt cabinet
  • Jakob Moneta - former editor-in-chief of the METALL newspaper
  • Andrea Nahles - SPD, former Federal Minister of Labor and former party leader and former spokeswoman for the DL-21 Forum
  • Bernd Osterloh - Chairman of the General and Group Works Council and member of the Presidium of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG
  • Wilhelm Petersen - 1948 co-chairman of IG Metall in the Bizone
  • Walter Riester - SPD, former Federal Minister of Labor in the Gerhard Schröder cabinet
  • Harald Schartau - SPD, former labor minister in North Rhine-Westphalia and state chairman of the NRW-SPD
  • Guntram Schneider - SPD, former Minister for Labor, Integration and Social Affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Dieter Schulte - SPD, former DGB federal chairman
  • Friedrich "Fritz" (Johann) Zängerle - trade unionist and first chairman of the works council of Adam Opel AG in Rüsselsheim am Main

Supervisory board mandates and transparency of duties

IG Metall has numerous representatives on the supervisory boards of German stock corporations. These representatives are obliged to transfer part of their supervisory board bonuses to the DGB institution, the Hans Böckler Foundation. IG Metall regularly publishes the names of IG Metall supervisory board members who fail to meet this obligation.


Youth organization


  • 100 years of IG Metall in the picture. Photo documents about work and time. Board of the metal industry union (ed.). 1994, ISBN 3-7663-2317-2 .
  • IG Metall in Bremen. The first 100 years. IG Metall Bremen (ed.). Steintorverlag, 1991, ISBN 3-926028-69-6 .
  • One hundred years of the Essen metal union 1891–1991. IG Metall administration office Essen (Ed.). Druck Carl, Frankfurt, 1991, ISBN 3-88474-159-4 .
  • Kurt Schmitz: 100 years of the industrial union 1891–1991. From the German Metal Workers' Association to the Metal Industry Union. A report in words and pictures. Bund Verlag, Cologne 1991
  • Industrial union for seventy-five years. 1891 to 1966. From the German Metalworkers' Association to the Metalworkers Union. A report in words and pictures. European Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 1966.
  • Fritz Opel: 75 years of the Iron International 1893–1968. With a foreword by Otto Brenner and an afterword by Adolphe Graedel. International Federation of Metalworkers, Geneva 1968.
  • Jürgen Peters (Ed.): In free negotiation, documents on IG Metall's tariff policy 1945–2002. Goettingen 2003.
  • Judith Pákh: The red Hanau. Labor and Capital 1830–1949. IG Metall Hanau / Fulda (ed.). CoCon-Verlag Hanau 2007, ISBN 978-3-937774-28-2 .
  • Felicitas Merkel: Sources on the history of the German trade union movement in the 20th century. Vol. 9: The metal industry union in the years 1956 to 1963 1999. Bund Verlag
  • Hans-Otto Hemmer (Ed.): Balance sheet with prospects. The new IG Metall on the threshold of the 21st century. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen, Wiesbaden 1999
  • From remembering the beginning - 70 years of liberation from fascism - what has IG Metall learned from this? , Publisher: IG Metall board of directors, Darmstadt 2015, ISBN 978-3-941310-39-1 .
  • Hartmut Meine : Union, yes please! - A manual for works councils, shop stewards and active people . Hamburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-89965-779-1 .
  • Jörg Hofmann , Stefan Schaumburg, Tanja Smolenski (eds.): Together for tomorrow. For working hours that fit life . transcript, Bielefeld 2019, ISBN 978-3-8394-4685-0
  • Jörg Hofmann, Christiane Benner (ed.): History of IG Metall. To develop autonomy and creative power . Bund Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2019, ISBN 978-3-7663-6925-3 .

Web links

Commons : IG Metall  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. DGB: DGB membership figures 2019. In: www.dgb.de. August 12, 2020, accessed August 12, 2020 .
  2. IG Metall: For the first time in over twenty years, membership increases. Press release No. 03/2012. (No longer available online.) In: igmetall.de. IG Metall, January 20, 2012, archived from the original on March 29, 2013 ; Retrieved February 22, 2012 .
  3. ↑ Retiring with confidence - take advantage of your membership benefits in IG Metall. ( Memento from November 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: igmetall.de. IG Metall, accessed on January 18, 2017.
  4. IG Metall members: Huber speaks of a "turnaround". In: faz.net . Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , afp , January 20, 2012, accessed on February 22, 2012 .
  5. ^ IG Metall Wolfsburg has 72,000 members. (PDF) In: igmetall-nieder-sachsen-anhalt.de. IG Metall District Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, 2010, accessed on October 10, 2012 .
  6. The 80,000 member of IG Metall Wolfsburg is an engineer. IG Metall Wolfsburg, June 4, 2012, accessed December 9, 2015 .
  7. ^ Claas Tatje: Volkswagen: Unbelievably powerful . In: The time . No. 16/2016 ( online ).
  8. Annual Report 2015–2018, Finances - Development of Premiums, pp. 268–270
  9. Frank Specht: The dwindling power of the trade unions. In: Handelsblatt, January 31, 2017.
  10. ^ Statutes of IG Metall § 2 Paragraph 3