The 5th Verdi congress (held in Leipzig) was opened on the 22nd September 2019 by the Federal President Walter Steinmeier who praised the existence of Verdi as an important actor of the German democratic society as a whole. At this congress, the mandate of the well-known President Frank Bsirske came to an end. Media largely reported on his remarkable contributions of the last 18 years. On the 24th September, the Verdi Congress elected a new executive bureau, headed by newly elected Verdi President Frank Warneke. The USF Sec.Gen. was invited to the Congress and warmly congratulated.

The Congress discussions with about 1000 delegates (Verdi has 2 million members) were very inspiring. Amongst the many subjects were the consequences of digitalization, equal opportunities, minimum wages, precariousness of work, immigration, the rise of right wing extremism, recruiting young members, preserving the collective wage agreement principle which is well established in Germany, but increasingly unpopular with employers.