The works council of the German union Ver.di is a ‘toothless tiger’ that has to resort to ‘collective begging’, Martin Lesch, chairman of the Association of Trade Union Employees (VGB), told the German magazine Jungle World. He further claims that the union makes some of its staff work under precarious conditions.
Ver.di does not recognise the VGB as representative of its staff because it has too few members. Ver.di further denies that its staff work under precarious conditions.
The Ver.di employees who spoke to Jungle World have no complaints about their employer. There may be subtle pressures to put in some unpaid overtime, but: “When I meet with union volunteers in the weekend, then it’s volunteer work for me too”. Another employee explains: “We’re not a firm”.