IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energie
|Full name||IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energie|
|Key people||Michael Vassiliadis, president|
|Office location||Hannover, Germany|
History and structure
The IG BCE was created in 1997 from the merger of IG Bergbau and Energie, IG Chemie-Papier-Keramik, and Gewerkschaft Leder. It covers workers in the following industries: mining (especially of coal), chemicals, natural gas, glass, rubber, ceramics, plastics, leather, petrol (and related products), paper, recycling, and water. With some 645,000 members (as of 2016) IG BCE represents about one tenth of all DGB members and is the third biggest union within that confederation. There are some 1,100 locals and 900 groups of shop stewards organized in 44 regional districts, which cooperate in eight state chapters: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse/Thuringia, North, Northeast, North Rhine, Rhineland-Palatinate/Saar and Westphalia.
In 2015, IG BCE successfully negotiated a pay rise for 550,0000 employees with Germany's chemical employers association BAVC.
IG BCE has been playing a key role in Germany's energy transition. In 2014, the union proposed that Germany's utilities should pool their struggling hard coal plants into a joint entity, referring to the hard coal plants with total capacity of between 28 and 30 gigawatts (GW), most of which are owned by E.ON, RWE, EnBW, Vattenfall and STEAG. By 2015, the union proposed gradually phasing out old coal-fired power stations and building combined heat and power (CHP) stations fired with gas. Its plan included taking at least 2.7 gigawatts of brown coal-fired capacity gradually out of the market rather than risking sudden closures. On the initiative of IG BCE, thousands of coal miners and workers in coal-fired plants marched in Berlin in April 2015 to protest a proposed levy on the oldest, most polluting power stations, saying it could lead to losses of up to 100,000 jobs and the decline of the industry in Germany.
In 2016, IG BCE, with the support of the BDI industry group, again raised concerns about plans for Germany to end its use of brown coal amid calls for it to set out a timetable for ending coal-fired power production.
- Barbara Hendricks – Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety
- Ulla Schmidt – former Federal Minister of Health
- Martin Schulz – former President of the European Parliament
- Peer Steinbrück – former Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia
- About Us IG BCE
- Caroline Copley ( March 12, 2015), German chemicals union threatens strikes over wage dispute Reuters
- Matthias Inverardi (February 23, 2014), German utilities should pool ailing hard coal plants, union says Reuters.
- Vera Eckert and Caroline Copley (June 24, 2015), Germany to decide between coal levy and alternative on July 1 Reuters.
- Caroline Copley (April 25, 2015), Thousands of coal workers march in Berlin in protest against climate tax Reuters.
- Markus Wacket (November 11, 2016), Germany cuts CO2 targets for industry ahead of Morocco talks Reuters.
- ICTUR; et al., eds. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9543811-5-8.
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