German IG Metall union elects new chief

25th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

Germany's IG Metall, Europe's biggest labour union, elected Detlef Wetzel as its new president Monday as it seeks to rejuvenate its image and boost its ranks.

Wetzel, 60, previously the number two of the mighty union, takes over from Berthold Huber who stood at the helm of IG Metall for the past six years.

Out of the 458 delegates at IG Metall's congress, 333 -- or 75.5 percent -- voted for Wetzel, the only candidate, and 108 voted against him.

There were 17 abstentions.

With close to 2.3 million members, IG Metall represents workers in a wide of range of industrial sectors, from steel and car making to electronics and even textiles.

It is not only the most powerful union in Germany, but the biggest in Europe.

In a bid to reverse declining membership since the 1990s, the union has embarked on a massive strategic overhaul and modernisation of its image.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to address the congress later on Monday.

© 2013 AFP

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