Labour Research December 2009

European news

German rail unions get set to merge

Two German unions, Transnet with 228,000 members and the GDBA with 40,000, are getting ready to merge.

However, an unusual aspect of the merger is that the two belong to different union confederations.

While Transnet is part of the larger DGB confederation, the GDBA belongs to the much smaller DBB, whose affiliates are primarily in the public sector, and the merger will be the first time unions from the two confederations have come together.

The GDBA’s affiliation to the DBB will end with the merger. Transnet’s council has already backed the merger and the GDBA’s conference expected to do so this month, with the merger coming into effect in autumn 2010.

Both unions hope the merger will help them recruit new members. Klaus-Dieter Hommel, head of the GDBA, said there was “giant potential”.