IG Metall - A Trade Union in Crisis?

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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.

Case Details:


Case Code : HROB084 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


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


This case is about IG Metall Trade Union (IG Metall), one of the oldest and largest trade unions in Germany. Since 1949, IG Metall had played an important role in German labor relations and was considered by many as the pioneer in collective bargaining in Germany. Over the years, IG Metall has made significant contributions to the industrial relations climate in Germany. But it has also been accused of improper protection and harming the interests of workers and employees. With the advent of globalization and modernization in Germany and Europe, IG Metall, with its traditional and inflexible views on labor relations, began to face a crisis in terms of decline in membership and bargaining power. The achievements and accusations present a contrasting and interesting picture of a trade union in a changing business environment.


Understand the issue of trade union activism and collective bargaining in Germany

Understand the challenges faced by a large trade union on account of the change in the economic environment and attitudes of workers


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Benefits to Members 3
Collective Bargaining Policy 4
Work Councils 4
Success of IG Metall 5
Crisis at IG Metall 7
The Future 9
Exhibits 10

Key Words:

IG Metall Trade Union, German Economy, Gesamtmetall, Liberalization, Collective Bargaining, European Central Bank, Employer Labor Relations, Blue Collar and White Collar Workers, Labor Reforms, German Confederation of Trade Unions, Unemployment, Ver.di, Work Councils, Globalization

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