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Union membership grows at IG Metall and Unite

31 January, 2013IndustriALL Global Union affiliates, IG Metall and Unite, announced membership growth in 2012, with 18,000 additional members at IG Metall and a boost of 50,000 at Unite.

Unite announced on 30 January that it increased its membership by more than 50,000 during 2012, despite a double-dip recession and anti-trade union stance of the government in the United Kingdom.

In the context of public sector cuts, privatization and anti-union government policies, Unite has made big membership gains among bus, coach and ferry workers; in the car industry and its supply chain; in the aerospace industries; and in food and drink companies which rely heavily on agency workers, as well as in the public sector.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite said, “Unite has been in the forefront of standing up for working people against this government’s cruel economic and social policies.” McCluskey promises the union will continue to focus on organizing in 2013. Unite has 1.5 million members.

In Germany, IG Metall announced on 22 January 2013 that for the second year in a row the number of members has increased, this time by 18,000. Notably the number of young new members rose by 4.5 per cent and the union now has 223,000 members under the age of 27.

IG Metall stated that the growth is result of a strategy that actively involves members in collective bargaining for company agreements. The union uses its strength in bargaining to address issues such as restricting the use of agency workers.  

“The growth of the low-wage sector needs to be stopped at any cost,” said Berthold Huber, President of IG Metall, reminding people that today one in four employees in Germany had a precarious job. 

With 2,263,707 members, the IG-Metall confirms its rank as the largest union in Germany.