Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Metal sector – Germany

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Social dialogue,
  • Employee representation,
  • Social partners,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 22 December 2010



About
Country:
Germany
Author:
Sandra Vogel, Birgit Kraemer
Institution:

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the metal sector in Germany. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.

1. Sectoral properties

The metal industry is one of the most important sectors in German industry, employing over four million people in 2008.The German Metalworkers’ Union is the dominant union in the sector and negotiates with members of the Employers’ Associations for the Metal and Electrical Industry. Sectoral collective agreements are considered the norm in the metal and electrical industry, however, a number of collective agreements at company level also exist.

  2003 2008

Number of companies*

According to new German classification of economic activities (NACE rev.2)

 

87,161 (2006)

Aggregate employment**

According to old German classification of economic activities DJ27 – DM35

4,261,000

4,248,000

Male employment**  

n.a.

Female employment**  

n.a.

Aggregate employees***  

4,023,124

Male employees***  

3,279,600

Female employees***  

743,524

Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy  

About 10.5%

Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy  

About 14.5%

*Federal Statistical Office, Company and establishment register, 2008. Please note that according to company registers, about 59.5% of all companies employ 1-9 workers; whereas 63.2% of all employees work in companies with more than 250 workers.

**Federal Statistical Office, employment by economic activity (Erwerbstätige nach Wirtschaftszweigen), 2008.

***Federal Employment Agency, employees liable to social security contribution, 2008.

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

1. trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining; (In line with the conceptual remarks outlined in the accompanying briefing note, we understand sector-related collective bargaining as any kind of collective bargaining within the sector, i.e. single-employer bargaining as well as multi-employer bargaining. For the definition of single- and multi-employer bargaining, see 4.2)

2. trade unions which are a member of the sector-related European federation, namely the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF)

3. employer associations that are party to sector-related collective bargaining;

4. employer associations (business associations) that are a member of the sector-related European business federation, namely the Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries (CEEMET)

2a Data on the trade unions

  • Metalworkers’ Union (IG Metall)
  • Metalworkers’ Union (CGM)

2a.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Voluntary

2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. white-collar workers, private-sector workers, employees in the metal industry, etc.)

There is no formal demarcation line.

2a.3 Number of trade union members (i.e. the total number of members of the trade union as a whole)

IG Metall: 2,300,563 union members as of 2008.

CGM: 91,000 members as of 2009.

2a.4 Number of trade union members in the sector

IG Metall: no data available.

CGM: no data available.

2a.5 Female trade union members as a percentage of total union membership

IG Metall: 17.7% (2008).

CGM: no data available.

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the trade union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the trade union domain (see 2a.2

No data available so far.

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

No data available.

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the trade union domain

2a.9 Does the trade union conclude sector-related collective agreements?

IG Metall: Yes.

CGM: Yes.

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

IG Metall is affiliated to the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) and the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF).

CGM is affiliated to the Christian Christian Trade Union Federation (CGB), European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) and the World Organisation of Workers (WOW–WFCW).

2b Data on the employer associations

The Employers’ Associations for the Metal and Electrical Industry (Gesamtmetall) counts 22 member associations. The following two types of membership are offered by Gesamtmetall (DE0503101N):

• membership with a binding commitment to collective agreements (mit Tarifbindung). 14 employers’ organisations represent employers in collective bargaining, as well as offering other services such as consultancy services on labour law issues or social policy, and developing guidelines and recommendations for the application of new technologies;

• special membership without a binding commitment to collective agreements (ohne Tarifbindung, OT). These associations are not entitled by their member companies to negotiate collective agreements.

2b.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

Voluntary

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. SMEs, small-scale crafts/industry, metalworking enterprises, etc.)

No formal demarcation

2b.3 Number of member companies (i.e. the total number of members of the association as a whole)

According to 2008 Gesamtmetall data, the associations offering membership with a binding commitment to collective agreements represent 3,897 companies. The associations without a binding commitment to collective bargaining represent 2,469 companies.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

See above

2b.5 Number of employees working in member companies (i.e. the total number of the association as a whole)

According to 2008 Gesamtmetall data, 1,772,173 employees work in member companies committed to collective agreements (compared with 329,298 members working in member companies not committed to collective agreements).

2b.6 Number of employees working in member companies in the sector

See above

2b.7 Domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in relation to the number of potential member companies as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

Not available

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Not available

2b.9 Sectoral domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Not available

2b.10 Domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in relation to the number of employees working in potential member companies, as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

Not available

2b.11 Sectoral density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

Not available

2b.12 Sectoral domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees working in companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

Not available

2b.13 Does the employer association conclude sector-related collective agreements?

Yes

2b.14 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

Gesamtmetall is a member of CEEMET. At the national level, it is also a member of the German Confederation of Employers’ Associations (BDA).

3. Inter-associational relationships

3.1. Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap.

The domains of IG Metall and CGM overlap.

3.2. Do rivalries and competition exist among the trade unions, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

In March 2006, the Federal Labour Court (BAG) approved the status of CGM as a trade union with the right to conclude collective agreements (DE0604029I). IG Metall had been contesting this status in the courts for years, and the BAG judgment brought ten years of litigation to an end.

3.3. If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights? For what reason?

No

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

No overlap

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

n.a.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

n.a.

3.7. Are there companies and/ or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

Not as far as employer associations are concerned.

This is the case with some individual companies, although the precise number of those companies that refuse to enter into collective bargaining is unknown. 2007 data on bargaining coverage (see answer 4.1. below) in the capital goods sector, from the Institute of Employment Research (IAB), indicate that more than two thirds of establishments in the capital goods sector, representing about 35% of employees, are not covered by collective agreements. Nonetheless, more than 50% of these establishments align wages of their employees and other working conditions in some way with the standards stipulated in any firm or sectoral agreement.

4. The system of collective bargaining

4.1. Estimate the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage (i.e. the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector).

There is no data on the sector as defined by the background information. IAB gives figures on bargaining coverage based on survey data (IAB Establishment Panel) for the capital goods sector. According to this source, 65% of employees in the capital goods sector were covered by collective agreements in 2007.

4.2. Estimate the relative importance of multi-employer agreements and of single-employer agreements as a percentage of the total number of employees covered. (Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employer association on behalf of the employer side. In the case of single-employer bargaining, it is the company or its subunit(s) which is the party to the agreement. This includes the cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement.)

In the metal and electrical industry sectoral collective agreements are the norm. However, there are also a number of collective agreements at company level. Detailed data are not available. According to IAB data, 56% of employees in the capital goods market are covered by sectoral agreements and 9% by single-employer agreements.

4.2.1. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations?

No. However in the case of metal crafts (Metallhandwerk) some collective agreements have been extended since the 1990s. These collective agreements were concluded by IG Metall and regional trade associations which are not members of CEEMET.

4.2.2. If there is a practice of extending collective agreements, is this practice pervasive or rather limited and exceptional?

Exceptional and limited to metal crafts.

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2007 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered.

* Only wage agreements which are (re)negotiated on a reiterated basis.

Sector-related multi employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
Pay agreement concluded between IG Metall and the Employer association for the metal and electrical industry in Baden-Württemberg (Südwestmetall). The agreement covers the period from November 2008 to 30 April 2010.

Metal and electrical industry

All employees

Bargaining regions Nordwürttemberg/Nordbaden; Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern, Südbaden

This pilot agreement was, with some adjustments, applied to all other bargaining regions.

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2007 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered
Bargaining parties Purview of the agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
Pay agreement concluded between IG Metall and the employer association for the metal and electrical industry in Baden-Württemberg (Südwestmetall), covering the period from November 2008 to 30 April 2010.

Metal and electrical industry

All employees

Bargaining regions: Nordwürttemberg/Nordbaden; Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern, Südbaden

Agreement on pay IG Metall and employers’ association of the metal industry in North Rhine-Westphalia (Metall NRW), 2008-2010

Metal and electrical industry

All employees

North Rhine-Westfalia

Agreement on pay between IG Metall and the employers’ association of the Bavarian metal industry (VBM), 2008-2010

Metal and electrical industry

All employees

Bavaria

Agreement on pay between IG Metall and the employers’ association of the metal industry in Hesse (Hessenmetall), 2008-2010

Metal and electrical industry

All employees

Hesse

5. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

5.1. Are the sector’s employer associations and trade unions usually consulted by the authorities in sector-specific matters? If yes, which associations?

Both Gesamtmetall and its member associations as well as IG Metall are regularly consulted by the authorities, e.g. on legislative procedures or political initiatives.

5.2. Do tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues exist?

No

If yes, please indicate their domain of activity (for instance, health and safety, equal opportunities, labour market, social security and pensions etc.), their origin (agreement/statutory) and the interest organisations having representatives in them:

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6.1. In the case of the trade unions, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a trade union must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

There is no statutory requirement for a union, if it is to be classified as such, to be representative. Nevertheless, the Federal Labour Court (BAG) ruled in 1989 that a trade union must be able to accomplish its duties as a union. It needs to be strong enough to enforce the rules and it must possess a certain organisational capability. Concerning the CGM case, the Federal Labour Court declared in 2006 that CGM fulfilled the necessary requirements of a union even though the organisational capability is not given in all sectors and regions of its domain. The court ruled that the fact that various employers and employers’ associations had concluded collective agreements with CGM was proof of its status as a trade union.

6.2. In the case of the trade unions, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a trade union must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

No

6.3. Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

No

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

No

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

No

6.6. Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No

7. Commentary

IG Metall is by far the dominant trade union in the sector and negotiates terms and conditions for employees in the metal and electrical industry (Metall- und Elektroindustrie) with the relevant employers’ associations. CGM is not part of the negotiations as far as sectoral agreements in the metal and electrical industry are concerned, or relevant company level agreements as for example at Volkswagen. However, CGM claims to have concluded separate collective agreements in some cases, in particular in eastern Germany.

According to the Law on Collective Bargaining, an individual company is regarded as a collective bargaining party itself, thus the membership in a so-called OT-association does not mean that the affected companies are not willing to conclude single employer agreements. Finally, membership of employer associations is voluntary. However, as the statistics on bargaining coverage indicate, there are a relevant number of employers in the metal sector who neither want to be directly bound to sectoral collective bargaining nor conclude company level collective agreements.

8. List of consulted organisations and individuals

Ms Brauner, Gesamtmetall, Sekretariat Tarifpolitik, Voßstr. 16, 10117 Berlin

IG Metall central office (various officials), Frankfurt

Manfred Menninger, IG Metall NRW, Düsseldorf

Birgit Kraemer (Institute of Economic and Social Research, WSI)

Sandra Vogel (Cologne Institute for Economic Research, IW Köln)

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