List of trade unions in Germany

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List of trade unions in Germany . The organizations on this list are organizations that aim to support the professional interests of their members in some way. Not all organizations are or claim to be trade unions in the sense of labor law , or whether they have trade union status is a matter of dispute.

In order to be legally considered a trade union in Germany , an organization must

  • The protection of the interests of their members in their capacity as employees have set themselves the statutory task,
  • be willing to conclude collective agreements,
  • be freely formed, free of opponents and independent,
  • be organized on an inter-company basis,
  • recognize the applicable collective bargaining law as binding and
  • can meaningfully fulfill their task as a collective bargaining partner by
    • Has assertiveness against the social opponent and
    • has a certain efficiency of the organization.

In addition, trade unions based outside Germany, especially outside the EU, can represent their members in Germany by virtue of international agreements within the framework of freedom of association ( ILO No. 87, Art 5; Art 8c International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).

German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)

Individual trade unions in the DGB with their predecessors.

Surname Est. Members description Website
IG Metall IG Metall 1949 2,262,661 Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main , with the merged unions, the Wood and Plastics Union and the Textile Clothing Union .
Ver di United Services Union 2001 1,987,336 ver.di originated in Berlin , 2001 from the trade union trade, banks and insurance (HBV), trade union public services, transport and traffic (ÖTV); German Postal Union (DPG); German employees' union (DAG) - previously not a DGB union - and from the IG Medien , (incl. German Journalist Union (dju)), in 1989 emerged from IG Druck und Papier and the art union .
IG BCE IG mining, chemistry, energy 1997 637.623 Headquarters in Hanover , formed in 1997 from IG Mining and Energy , IG Chemistry, Paper, Ceramics and Union Leather .
IG BAU IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt 1996 254,525 Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main , on January 1, 1996 formed from IG Bau-Steine-Erden (IG BSE) and the horticultural, agricultural and forestry union (GGLF). IGBAU had 720,000 members in 1996.
GEW Education and Science Union 1948 278.243 Based in Frankfurt am Main
EVG Railway and Transport Union 2010 189,975 EVG emerged in 2010 from TRANSNET (German Railway Workers Union) and the GDBA transport union
NGG Union of Food-Enjoyment-Restaurants 1865 199.921 Based in Hamburg
Police union Police Union 1950 185.153 Based in Berlin with an office in Hilden

DBB Beamtenbund and collective bargaining union

Individual unions or associations divided into areas:

Christian Trade Union Confederation of Germany (CGB)

Individual unions with their seats

Other unions


Health and care



Public services, services

Airlines and airports


Former unions

Web links


  1. Requirements according to the constant case law of the Federal Labor Court, last decision of March 28, 2006, 1 ABR 58/04 , Paragraph 34 = Section III. 1. The reasons for the decision
  2. Membership figures 2017 , accessed on April 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Automobile Center
  4. Workers' Union in Air Transport
  5. ^ Industrial Union for Aviation IGL
  6. ^ The fear of the AfD in the works council , Schwäbische Zeitung , February 13, 2018
  7. ^ Rallies and demonstrations on Labor Day ( memento from September 25, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), look to the right , May 1, 2017.
  8. ^ AfD functionaries want to become “trade unionists” , MDR , June 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Profile: German Employees' Association at apabiz