|Chair of the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee|
Assumed office |
7 July 2014
|Preceded by||Pervenche Berès|
|Member of the European Parliament|
Assumed office |
14 July 2009
27 August 1953
|Alma mater||University of Berlin|
Händel began training as an electrician at Grundig in Fürth in 1970, which is also when he joined the IG Metall trade union. He subsequently attended the academy of work at Goethe University Frankfurt, after which he advanced through IG Metall, becoming the managing director of the Fürth branch in 1987 and a member of the national advisory board in 1991.
In March 2004, along with Klaus Ernst, Anny Heike, Gerd Lobodda, Günther Schachner, Herbert Schui and Peter Vetter, Händel called for the creation of the Initiative Arbeit und soziale Gerechtigkeit, a group opposed to the neoliberal policies of the SPD Government. By June the group had been expelled from the SPD and had merged with another organisation, Wahlalternative, to form Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative, the WASG. Händel was one of the party's four executive board members and acted as treasurer. After the merger of the WASG and the Party of Democratic Socialism to form the Left party in 2007, Händel became vice-chairman of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. He was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.
- Profile European Parliament
- "Thomas Händel" (in German). Personal website. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Election alternative: Jobs and Social Justice—a new reformist trap for German workers". World Socialist Web Site. 19 June 2004. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- "Fusion von WASG und Linkspartei besiegelt" (in German). Die Welt. 19 May 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2013.