Germany's IG Metall Union Elects New Leader

Berthold Huber received more than 92 percent of the vote — the best showing for a new leader in the past 35 years.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's biggest industrial union, IG Metall, on Tuesday elected a top union deputy considered a modernizer as its leader for the next four years.
 
Berthold Huber, who for the past four years has served as deputy to outgoing leader Juergen Peters, received more than 92 percent of the vote — the best showing for a new leader in the past 35 years.
 
Huber, 57, is considered a reformer and a modernizer, based on his open style of communication and success at reaching unconventional solutions. He also is a member of the Social Democrats, which form half of Germany's governing coalition.
 
IG Metall represents a broad range of workers in the nation's key manufacturing sector in wage talks with employers. It has 2.3 million members.
 
Earlier this year, it secured a pay increase of 4.1 percent this year and another 1.7 percent next year for manufacturing workers. It went into talks demanding a 6.5 percent raise.
 
Detlef Wetzel, the regional union head in North Rhine-Westphalia state, which includes the industrial Ruhr region, was elected Tuesday as Huber's deputy. The 54-year-old also is viewed as a moderate.
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