European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

EFFAT applauds agreement on a minimum wage for the German meat industry

23/01/2014
Following intense pressure from the German Food Workers Union, NGG, the four largest meat companies in Germany commenced negotiations on a sectorial minimum wage in October 2013.
 
The NGG and German Food and Beverage Employers’ Association (ANG) reached agreement on 13 January 2014 on the establishment of a minimum wage for the German meat industry.
 
The agreed minimum wage of EUR 7.75 will be paid from July 2014 and will gradually increase to EUR 8.75 by December 2016. The parties have undertaken to engage in further negotiations as of 1 July 2017. The minimum wage applies to all employees in the German meat industry, as well as for the estimated 15,000 subcontracted workers in German slaughterhouses.
 
The agreement follows widespread criticism of German meat companies for subcontracting slaughterhouse operations to mainly Eastern European workers, enabling exploitative and fraudulent companies to flourish and unfair competition. 
 
This criticism culminated in a complaint against Germany about social dumping that was brought before the European Commission by Belgian Ministers for the Economy and Employment in March 2013, citing workers living in deplorable conditions for poverty wages, deprived of social security or health insurance. 
 
In a joint statement, the NGG and ANG highlighted their common goal of reaching a settlement “which takes into account both the interests of the workers and those of the highly criticised meat industry”.

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.