Self-perception and Objectives of the Working Group

Our working group was founded in 1994 as a subject-oriented work grouping of the administrative branch of IG Metall in Berlin. It comprises members of IG Metall who either used to work or still work for organised companies in the metal and electrics/electronics industry.

The AK has ist roots in the IG Metall youth. Our work has always been focussed on establishing solidarity relations between trade unions and other social movements that go beyond ideologies that promote competition between workers at plant, company, national and international level.

As early as the beginning of the 1980s did we began to establish links with the Nicaraguan sandinista trade unions via brigade work assisting them with material and personal resources to build a free country. In the 90s the movement of organised women, which represents a social movement unionism became our main partner in Nicaragua.

Our self-understanding is based on the principle that solidarity is not a one-way street but a process of mutual learning and support the first step of which is getting to know each other. Besides Nicaragua we further support projects in Brazil, within the structures of trade union youth work. We also try to provide a platform for social movements of the international working class to present their positions and claims here in Berlin. Within the trade union structures we stand up to strengthen the participation of the members and argue in favour of political strategies that help to fight the decrease in solidarity and to revitalise the origins of the trade union movement. As part of these efforts we establish contacts and organise transnational seminars and workshops of the rank and file trade union membership, particularly within the TNCs.

It is also part of our work to carry through educational seminars on subjects such as "debt crisis", "globalisation and competition-based policies" or the "Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI)". Within the trade unions, we see ourselves as the link towards non-trade union networks with whom we co-operate at equal level and whose impulses we want to spread in our organisation.