IG Metall - A Trade Union in Crisis?

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB084
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1994-2006
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : IG Metall Trade Union
Industry : Diversified
Countries : Germany, Europe

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Excerpts

Benefits to Members

IG Metall offered various unique benefits to its members. All the members were provided with legal advice and legal aid free of charge, and if necessary, cases were taken to the highest court. The advice and aid covered matters related to employment, vocational training, disputes with social security institutions (e.g., health insurance, pension insurance, job centers and pension funds), transfer of members, wrong categorization, suffering any disadvantages, and dismissal.

In the event of a strike by members to enforce their demands, IG Metall offered 'strike pay' to its members.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

The amount of 'strike pay' depended on the period of membership and ranged between 12 to 14 times the monthly membership dues. Generally, the monthly membership due was an amount equivalent to one percent of an employee's gross income...

Collective Bargaining Policy

IG Metall had a remarkable reputation in Germany for its collective bargaining policy. The focus of the policy was on pay increase, enhancing the social position and improving the health of workers, humanization of working conditions, and protection against arbitrary decisions of the employers and changes in technology. IG Metall divided its collective bargaining into four main categories of agreements. (Refer Table I for a description of the categories)...

Work Councils

In Germany, the work council is a body that legally represents the interests of workers and has a major role in protecting the interests of workers. IG Metall divided its collective bargaining into four main categories of agreements. (Refer Table I for a description of the categories)...

Success of IG Metall

One of IG Metall's strong points was its ability to negotiate collective bargaining agreements. IG Metall was successful in improving employee welfare through collective bargaining in Germany.

It ensured that workers and employees benefited from economic growth by securing wage and salary increases on a regular basis. Apart from the monetary gains, the union also helped bring about an improvement in working conditions (Refer Table II for IG Metall's success achieved through collective bargaining in Germany).

In May 2005, a plan by Grohe Water Technology Company (Grohe) to cut thousands of jobs in Germany and move its production facilities to China caused a huge controversy. Joerg Weigand (Weigand), Regional IG Metall Union Representative, said, "The company planned to cut 3,200 jobs (from its workforce of about 4,500), based on a proposal by the consultants McKinsey." The union considered the move by Grohe as a devastating blow to the worker community in the town of Hemer, Germany as most of them were employed by Grohe. The move was expected to result in high unemployment and cripple the town's economy. Moreover, the local workers felt aggrieved, as the local community had named the town square, 'Grohe Platz' out of gratitude to the company...

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