Published: 24/09/2013

Under pressure from the German Food Workers Union, NGG, the four largest meat companies in Germany have agreed to start negotiations on a minimum wage.

Meat companies in Germany have been constantly under attack for their practice of subcontracting slaughterhouse workers from Eastern Europe. The media regularly report on exploited labor, starvation wages and inhumane living conditions. Other EU countries are demanding European action against unfair competition.

Tonnies, Vion, Westfleisch and Danish Crown slaughter about 60 percent of all the pigs in Germany. This means that they probably employ more than half of the workers in this sector. The Ministry of Labour could therefore declare a wage agreement with the NGG as universally valid. The combined market share of these four companies is large enough to ensure that the minimum wage is enforced throughout the whole sector.

Negotiations are to begin on October 22.