IG Metall organized its 5th Engineers and IT meeting from 24 to 26 September in Berlin. Some 300 people attended it. The theme of the conference was Cooperation.
IndustriALL and IG Metall President Berthold Huber addressed the conference in a speech entitled Cooperation Beats Competition. One of his focuses was the importance of knowledge, know-how and creativity, all properties that companies need to prosper. In German companies above all it is the engineers and the developers who lay the foundation for economic success by their work. It is not machines and programs that are decisive for sustainable progress but rather workers’ knowledge and know-how.
In contributions from industry and academics the message was clear: the future lies in investing in quality and innovation and in future-looking developments. We must build a new corporate culture based on cooperation, an attractive working environment and regular employment. Core competence must remain in the company. The point for industry is to produce better but not more cheaply.
Other buzzwords at the conference were ‘amazonization’, ‘gamification’, ‘crowd working’, ‘crowd sourcing’, all new themes for trade unions. Mobile working, work-life balance, open space are all areas where IG Metall has agreements with industry.
In the last year alone 17,000 white-collar workers joined IG Metall. That is 26 percent of all new members. In spite of the revolutionary change in jobs from hand work to head work IG Metall has still been able to organize workers and keeps pushing engineers to join.