German Confederation of Trade Unions

German Confederation of Trade Unions

Infobox Union
name= DGB
country= Germany
affiliation= ITUC, ETUC, TUAC
members= 7.0 million
full_name= German Confederation of Trade Unions
native_name= Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund

founded= October, 1949
office= Berlin, Germany
people= Michael Sommer, president
website= []

The German Confederation of Trade Unions ("Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund", DGB) is an umbrella organisation (sometimes known as a national trade union center) for eight German trade unions, in total representing more than 7 million people (31 December 2004). It was founded in Munich, October 12, 1949.

The DGB coordinates joint demands and activities within the German trade union movement. It represents the member unions in contact with the government authorities, the political parties and the employers' organisations. However, the umbrella organisation is not directly involved in collective bargaining and does not conclude pay agreements.

Union delegates elect committees for 9 districts, 94 regions and the federal centre. The organisation holds a federal congress every four years. The congress sets the framework for trade union policies and elects five persons to serve full-time as a Federal Executive. Together with the presidents of the member unions they constitute the DGB's Federal Presidium. The members of the Federal Presidium, together with the DGB regional presidents and 70 delegates from the unions, form a Federal Council, that meets once a year to make decisions in national issues. The DGB also has a youth organisation, DGB-Jugend.

The DGB has its headquarters in Berlin. It is a member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).


Until 1933

As first German confederation of unions at March 14 1892 the"Generalkommission der Gewerkschaften Deutschlands"was founded in Halberstadt.It represented 57 national and some local unions with approximate 300,000 peoples in total.

After World War I unions had to reorganise.During a congress in Nuremberg from June 30 until July 5 1919 the"Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, ADGB"was founded as an umbrella organisation of 52 single unions with more than 3 million members.
The ADGB may be seen as predecessor of today's DGB.
Like today at that time there also existed a conservative umbrella organisation with lesser importance.Curiously at that time "Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB" was the name of this conservative organisation.

At May 2 1933 all unions were broken up by the Nazis.


After World War II German unions had to reorganise once again.

At February 9–11, 1946 the "Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, FDGB" was founded in Berlinas a confederation of 15 unions in the Soviet controlled part of Germany.

At April 23–25, 1947 the "Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB" was founded in Bielefeldas a confederation of 12 unions in the British controlled part of Germany.

Foundations in the US-American controlled part of Germany:
August 24/25, 1946: Freier Gewerkschaftsbund Hessen
August 30September 1 1946: Gewerkschaftsbund Württemberg-Baden
March 27–29, 1947: Bayerischer Gewerkschaftsbund

Foundations in the French controlled part of Germany:
February 15/16 1947: Gewerkschaftsbund Süd-Württemberg und Hohenzollern
March 1/2 1947: Badischer Gewerkschaftsbund
May 2 1947: Allgemeiner Gewerkschaftsbund Rheinland-Pfalz

At October 12–14, the 7 umbrella organisation of West Germanymerged to the West German DGB as a confederation of 16 single trade unions. "Number of members, June 30 1949:" DGB of the British zone .............................. 2,885,036 Freier Gewerkschaftsbund Hessen ...................... 397,008 Gewerkschaftsbund Württemberg-Baden .................. 464,905 Bayerischer Gewerkschaftsbund ........................ 815,161 Gewerkschaftsbund Süd-Württemberg und Hohenzollern ... 75,502 Badischer Gewerkschaftsbund .......................... 92,257 Allgemeiner Gewerkschaftsbund Rheinland-Pfalz ........ 232,117 total: 4,961,986

Until today

In 1990 the members of the FDGB of the German Democratic Republic joined the members of the DGB.

Until today many single member unions of the DGB united together so today's DGB has only 8 members.



*IG BAU - IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (Construction, Agriculture, Environment) 424,808 members = 6.06%
*IG BCE - IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energie (Mining, Chemicals, Energy) 770,582 members = 10.99%
*GEW - Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (Education and Science) 254,673 members = 3.63%
*IGM - IG Metall (Metalworkers) 2,425,005 members = 34.58%
*NGG - Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten (Food, Beverages and Catering) 225,328 members = 3.21%
*GdP - Gewerkschaft der Polizei (Police) 177,910 members = 2.54%
*TRANSNET Gewerkschaft (Railway Workers) 270,221 members = 3.85%
*ver.di - Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (United Services Union) 2,464,510 members = 35.14%( DGB in total: 7,013,037 members = 100% // all values: 31 December 2004 )


GEW // still existing, see above NGG // still existing, see above GdED - Gewerkschaft der Eisenbahner Deutschlands // 2000 renamed to TRANSNET, see above IGM // still existing, see above Gewerkschaft Textil und Bekleidung ... since 1998 part of IGM Gewerkschaft Holz und Kunststoff ..... since 2000 part of IGM IG BSE - IG Bau-Steine-Erden ........................ since 1996 IG BAU, see above Gewerkschaft Gartenbau, Land- und Forstwirtschaft ... since 1996 IG BAU IG BE - IG Bergbau und Energie ... since 1997 IG BCE, see above IG Chemie, Papier, Keramik ....... since 1997 IG BCE Gewerkschaft Leder ............... since 1997 IG BCE DPG - Deutsche Postgewerkschaft ................................. since 2001 ver.di, see above HBV - Gewerkschaft Handel, Banken und Versicherungen ............ since 2001 ver.di ÖTV - Gewerkschaft Öffentliche Dienste, Transport und Verkehr ... since 2001 ver.di IG Druck und Papier, "DruPa" .......... 1989 IG Medien .......... since 2001 ver.di IG Kunst, Kultur und Medien ........... 1989 IG Medien .......... since 2001 ver.di

Other unions

In 1978 the Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP, see above) joined the DGB as 17th union.

The Deutsche Angestellten Gewerkschaft - DAG - was a great white collar trade union.
Although the DAG in the British zone 1946 was a member of the DGB in the British zonethe West German DAG never joined the West German DGB as a single member union.
But in 2001 the DAG merged with four existing DGB unions to the new DGB union ver.di.

See also

*List of labor unions


*cite book
year = 2005
title = Trade Unions of the World
editor = ICTUR et al,
edition = 6th
publisher = John Harper Publishing
location = London, UK
id = ISBN 0-9543811-5-7

* F.Deppe/G.Fülberth/H.J.Harrer: Geschichte der deutschen Gewerkschaftsbewegung ISBN 3-7609-0290-1

External links

* - Official site in German

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