Union membership slumps

22nd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 September 2004 , BERLIN - The German services and retail employees union ver.di said Wednesday it had lost more than 80,000 members in the first six months of 2004, reflecting job losses and the tightened financial straits of many people in the economy. Union boss Frank Bsirske reported that 141,000 people had left the union in the first six months, while 59,000 people had joined ver.di, for an overall membership decline of over 80,000, or some three per cent of the union's membership of 2.53 million. H

22 September 2004

BERLIN - The German services and retail employees union ver.di said Wednesday it had lost more than 80,000 members in the first six months of 2004, reflecting job losses and the tightened financial straits of many people in the economy.

Union boss Frank Bsirske reported that 141,000 people had left the union in the first six months, while 59,000 people had joined ver.di, for an overall membership decline of over 80,000, or some three per cent of the union's membership of 2.53 million.

He said there had been a strong drop in membership in eastern Germany, while payroll reductions in the retail sector and the printing industry had also contributed to the losses.
Bsirske also noted that the union's own stepped-up dues collecting efforts had contributed to the membership losses. A year ago, some 400,000 members were behind in their union dues, while the number now is down to 110,000.

But many people, when faced by the union demand for their back dues, instead chose to quit, he said.

Bsirske said the tightened financial straits of people, especially in eastern Germany which showed an above average loss in union membership, also was behind the decline.

When wages are low and households are in debt, then one of the first places where people try to save money is in union dues, he said.

DPA

Subject: German news  

0 Comments To This Article