IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt
The IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IGBAU) is a trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 with a membership of 350000 (as per end of 2007). It is one of 8 industrial affiliates of the DGB (German Confederation of Trade Unions
German Confederation of Trade Unions
The Confederation of German Trade Unions is an umbrella organisation for eight German trade unions, in total representing more than 7 million people . It was founded in Munich, 12 October 1949.The DGB coordinates joint demands and activities within the German trade union movement...

). IG BAU is active in the sectors of construction and engineering, building materials, building cleaning, facility management, gardening, forestry and agriculture.

IG BAU was formed in 1996 as a merger of the former DGB-affiliates Industriegewerkschaft Bau-Steine-Erden (IG BSE) and Gewerkschaft Gartenbau-Landwirtschaft-Forsten (GGLF).

On the international level IG BAU is affiliated to the global union federations BWI
Building and Wood Workers' International
The Building and Wood Workers' International is the global union federation of democratic and free trade unions in the building, building materials, wood, forestry and allied industries. Established in 2005 by a merger of the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers and the World...

, IUF and UNI. IG BAU-President Klaus Wiesehuegel is also president of the BWI.

The national headquarters of IG BAU is in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. IG BAU has also two political lobbying offices in the federal capital city of Berlin and the European capital city of Brussels/Belgium, 13 regional offices in most German federal state capitals and more than 120 local offices in all major cities of Germany.

Collective Bargaining Policies

Most of the collective agreement policy of IG BAU is centralized. Many of the national collective agreements have been declared generally binding by the German federal government and so apply to all employers and workers in certain sectors like e.g. construction and the building cleaning trades. Because there is no general legal minimum wage in Germany yet the IG BAU lobbied from 1990 onwards for the introduction of sectoral legal minimum wages based on the loewest categories of sector-wide collective agreements and succeeded in 1996. Since that time IG BAU - together with sectoral national employer organisations - has created legal sectoral minimum wages for general construction http://ecmin.efbww.org/default.asp?issue=emwn&language=EN&CID=DEU, demolition, painting, scaffolding, roofing and building cleaning incl hotel cleaning and janitors by collective agreements, which have been declared generally binding by a federal order of the federal labor ministry. These minimum wages also apply to foreign companies who send their workers temporarily to Germany.

General Policies and Strategic Alliances

On the national level IG BAU is lobbying against the planned social insurance pension age of 67 (instead of 65). IG BAU is also very active on the European level and is pushing for a general reform of the general treaties of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 with the aim to guarantee workers rights on the European level. IG BAU was one of the most active unions fighting against the so-called Bolkestein directive. IG BAU has been also actively fighting the GATS
General Agreement on Trade in Services
The General Agreement on Trade in Services is a treaty of the World Trade Organization that entered into force in January 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations...

 agreement of the WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

, especially the cross-border provision of services under "mode 4" of the GATS (in which workers are sent to a different country by companies with the working conditions of their country-of-origin still applying).

There are individual links of union officials to several political parties like the social-democratic party, Christian-democratic party, green party and leftist party of Germany but in general IG BAU tries to develop an independent policy and to influence all democratic parties in Germany.

IG BAU was one of the first unions which reached out to the ecologist movement in Germany and to form strategical alliances with other NGOs. IG BAU joined the Forest Stewardship Council FSC
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Its main tools for achieving this are standard setting, independent certification and labeling of forest products...

 at an early stage and was in the leadership to form a German branch of the FSC together with the national chapters of Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

, Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth International is an international network of environmental organizations in 76 countries.FOEI is assisted by a small secretariat which provides support for the network and its agreed major campaigns...

(BUND) and WWF in Germany. IG BAU also helped to create other eco-social consumer labels like the "flower-label", "banafair" and "xertifix". Together with Greenpeace Germany IG BAU lobbied successful for environmental-friendly housing and energy-saving buildings.


Because the construction sector in Germany consists of 70000 companies (most of them with less than 10 workers and with a high fluctuation in the composition of the staff) and the situation in the building cleaning trades is much similar IG BAU has to employ many full-time organizers who organize the workers at their place of work. The individual IG BAU members are organized in locals at their living place and in sectoral local branches (not by company). IG BAU also tries to organize migrant workers and bogus self-employed workers.

External links

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