How do we get rid of unions

What is a union and what does it do?

Separate Employees usually negotiate the terms of their employment relationship in Germany with their (future) employer. Often there is one in this context Power asymmetry.

The individual is often already for economic reasons more or less forced to get out of unemployment quicklyto make a living. This is what employers know about and try to do To design employment contracts as cheaply as possible in your own interest.

In addition: you usually have enough money to spend on the Advice to experienced lawyers to fall back on. Here can an employee who is mostly inexperienced in legal matters After all, they rarely know where their own employer is still in the gray area and what labor law forbids.

To a corresponding To create a counterweight, the unions have developed. you represent the interests of employees or workers in certain industries, depending on their orientation. From the following article you can find out why they exist, which tasks are performed by a union and which is the largest union in Germany.

Specific information on trade unions in Germany:


The German Trade Union Federation (DGB) is the umbrella organization of various individual trade unions.


The railway and transport union represents inter alia. Bus drivers and railroad workers.


The train drivers' union (GDL) is known for its strikes. Read here what she is committed to.


The Education and Science Union (GEW) demands fair pay for good work.


Compact knowledge: union

What is a union?

These are associations of employees who are committed to better working conditions in a specific industry. This can be, for example, a higher salary or measures to protect against dismissal.

Are there membership fees to be paid to the union?

Yes, there is usually a membership fee. How high this is often depends on the monthly remuneration that the members receive for their work.

How do I join a union?

We have compiled this information here.

What is a union? - A definition

Unions are Associations of workers who are committed to thisthat its members in particular and employees of a certain industry in principle:

  • get paid better and get higher wages
  • have to work less and not always more
  • a Right of co-determination in company decisions receive
  • do not have to worry about their jobsbecause jobs are being cut.

The decisive factor for its establishment was the economic development in Germany. We know from history that workers' uprisings did not just start during industrialization. Much earlier they organized to reorganize to protest against the prevailing working conditions. Historians believe that as early as 1329 the first stoppage of work took place as a sign of rebellion. But it wasn't until the middle of the 19th century that the first union was founded.

By definition, a trade union is an association under private law. In a Statute that she gives herself, she holds on to what she wants to achieve. The It finances expenses associated with its work through contributionswhich the members pay.

In Germany, the unions that campaign for certain groups are today amalgamated in certain superordinate associations. These include:

  • the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)
  • the United Service Union (ver.di)
  • the German Association of Officials (DBB)
  • the Christian Trade Union Confederation of Germany (CGB)

What tasks do trade unions have?

Trade unions perform different tasks. As already mentioned, Above all, they are committed to the economic improvement of the working and living conditions of employees. But trade unions are also very active in social terms.

you are significantly involved in the negotiation of collective agreements, which are agreed together with employers or their representatives.

There are often clear conflicts of interest. Unions may organize strikes and call on their members to stoppageto give effect to your demands.

When such a measure is legal, there are clear rules in Germany for this:

  • Those associated with the strike Targets of the unions must be achievable in terms of collective bargaining agreements.
  • In addition, the Targets covered by collective bargaining law become.
  • One of the tasks of the trade unions is also to provide a Work stoppage to be implemented only after the peace obligation has expired.
  • A working day off is allowed only the last resort and has to get through his Proportionality distinguish.

What are the benefits of union membership?

True, you have to pay to join a union, but you get numerous benefits. First of all, this includes the Legal protection insurance. As a union member, you do not need to take out any additional insurance of this kind, but can instead come to terms with your boss in the event of a dispute with your boss on issues such as severance pay, dismissal and vacation entitlementGet advice from a lawyer free of charge - apart from the membership fee. In addition, members are often supported in legal disputes. The costs incurred in this way, for example by hiring a lawyer or the process, are thus superfluous.

Why should you join a union? For many people this is next to free legal protection insurance also social legal protection decisive. This is also often granted without having to pay more. And one too Leisure accident insurance Usually not necessary if you are a member of one of the trade unions. This is included in the contribution.

One of the tasks of trade unions is to negotiate collective agreements. As workers' organizations, they have much more power than a single workerwhich is why more far-reaching positive effects can often be achieved for many.

With today's long working life, union membership continues to gain importance in the face of Support with training and further education. Because: for them Participation in seminars and events organized by the union do you have to often pay nothing. These educational offers are often very diverse and cover different subject areas.

These unions also exist in Germany:


The Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG BAU) industrial union represents members from a wide variety of industries.


The Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE) cares about better working conditions.


The United Service Company (Verdi) went, inter alia. from the German Postal Union.

What is the union membership fee to be paid by the union member?

To join a union you have to usually an application is made and a contribution is made to the union at regular intervals become.

This is used, among other things, to to finance the following things:

  • the administrative staff
  • the services provided by the union
  • any educational work that may have been carried out
  • the publications issued by the union

Whether there is a membership fee in a union, often depends on what your job situation is like. Who has to pay and how much the amount will be, you can the Refer to the articles of association. Here the union defines the Membership fee that must be paid at least. Those who would like to pay more money are usually invited to do so.

How deep you have to dig into your pocket for the membership fee is mostly linked to your gross earnings or other regular monthly allowances. It is therefore often a question of relative amounts. So if you earn more, you also pay more. So it happens that the unemployed, pensioners and students usually have to pay a much lower membership fee.

How can you join a union?

German trade unions there are quite a few. These include:

  • IG Metall
  • IG Bergbau
  • the union of food-enjoyment-restaurants
  • the union of German train drivers (GDL)
  • the police union
  • the rail and transport union

If you want to reap the benefits of union membership, you often have three different options for expressing your will.

  • you print out the membership form on the union's website, fill it with the required data and then send it by post to the recipient.
  • Would you prefer your statement to the union? send by fax, this is also possible in many cases. In this case, all you need is that Application for membership and the fax number. The latter is usually noted on the form.
  • In the age of the Internet, however, you don't even have to resort to the paper versions. Many unions offer you, easy fill in the membership application online. This eliminates the annoying waiting for the post to be delivered.

And what information do you have to provide nowto join one of the unions? In the vast majority of cases, the following information is involved:

  1. First and Last Name
  2. Street and house number
  3. Zip code and city
  4. Date of birth
  5. nationality
  6. gender
  7. Phone number
  8. E-mail address
  9. Job title / field of study
  10. Company name / employer or name of the university for students
  11. Employer's address
  12. job status
  13. Amount of gross monthly income
  14. Account details: name of the financial institution, account number, bank code or IBAN
  15. date
  16. signature

If your request has been approved, you are a member of the desired union and benefit from its services.

Interesting facts about unions around the world

Not just in Germany Workers' associations have a long tradition. Also in other countries have some unions were founded over 100 years ago.

Here we have put together what we need to know about them and the trade unions in Germany.

  • As largest single union in Germany is called the IG Metall. She leads over 2.3 million memberswho come from all over the world.
  • The Unions in France appear in public quite differently than their German colleagues. Here workers are much more likely to quit their work and fight with harder bandages.
  • In Belgium has one of the highest levels of union membership in a European comparison. A particularly large number of workers are represented here in trade unions.
  • The Austrian trade union, which is comparable to the DGB, is called Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (OGB). It was established as a non-partisan workers' association Founded in 1945.
  • In Portugal and Hungary some workers are also organized in unions, but you political and economic influence is marginal there.
  • How the Composition of trade unions in relation to gender distribution represents, is strongly related in Germany to which industry it is. While there are many female members in the education and science union, there are relatively few women in IG Metall.

How can you resign from the union?

Terminate union

If you no longer want to be a member of the union, you can resign. That's how it's done.

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What is a union and what does it do?
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