The Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie (IG BCE) has 661,000 members in Germany, making it the third largest trade union in the German trade union association. They organise workers from the mining, chemicals, energy, oil, natural gas, glass, rubber, ceramics, plastics, paper, environment and waste sectors. Michael Vassiliadis has been its chairman since 2009. During the 2014 debate over a possible coal phase-out, Vassiliadis became an outspoken critic of the idea, aguing that industry would suffer if Germany was to exit nuclear power and coal at the same time.
In October 2010 the IG BCE and other trade unions launched a petition "For affordable electricity and good jobs," emphasising that the Energiewende must not endanger jobs by "shutting down one energy source after another".