IG Medien to opt out of national Alliance for Jobs

At an extraordinary congress held in September 2000, the IG Medien media workers' trade union decided to opt out of Germany's national tripartite Alliance for Job. It was the first affiliate of the DGB union confederation to take this step.

On 8-9 September 2000, at an extraordinary congress in Bielefeld, the German Media Trade Union (IG Medien) resolved to opt out of the national tripartite Alliance for Jobs (DE9812286N). A great majority of the delegates at the IG Medien congress adopted a resolution, according to which the media workers' union will "no longer participate in the Alliance's meetings and working groups". Furthermore, IG Medien decided to "argue for an immediate opt-out from the Alliance within the forthcoming new Unified Service Sector Trade Union (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, Ver.di) (DE9911225F) (in which IG Medien is participating) and the German Federation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB), as well as in public" debate. IG Medien, with about 179,000 members, is the smallest DGB-affiliated trade union and the first union which has decided to pull out of the national Alliance.

In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper (on 25 September 2000), the president of IG Medien, Detlef Hensche, declared that none of the agreements which have so far been concluded within the Alliance for Jobs have brought a "breakthrough in the promotion of employment". On the contrary, he argued, some of the Alliance's communiqués have led to misinterpretations which have been detrimental to the trade unions' policies. In particular the Alliance's declaration on an "employment-oriented collective bargaining policy" (DE0001232F) has, it is claimed, become an instrument to discipline trade unions' pay policy in the 2000 collective bargaining round (DE0007270F).

Furthermore, Mr. Hensche claimed that the policy of the Social Democrat/Green coalition government is "too employer-friendly". As examples, he cited the recent tax reform, which involves "tax presents of billions of DEM to the employers", and the planned pension reform (DE0008276F), which he claimed would mean that in the future "millions of pensioners would depend on social security."

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