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What is a trade union?

A trade union is a voluntary association of employees. It promotes the interests of its members. A trade union is independent of the state, political parties and churches. Trade unions are financed through membership fees. Trade unions are organised democratically. This means: They have statutes, hold elections for certain functions and their members have a say.

Trade unions in Germany are organised by sectors. Here you will find an overview of the DGB trade unions: www.dgb.de/uber-uns/dgb-heute/gewerkschaften-im-dgb

These 8 trade unions have joined forces in the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB – Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund). The DGB does political work for the trade unions. It fights for better working conditions in Germany.

The explanatory video “What is a trade union?” (in German) by the trade union IG Metall is available at:

www.igmetall.de/ueber-uns/dafuer-stehen-wir/was-ist-eine-gewerkschaft