German meat processors introduce minimum hourly wages

13-05-2013 | |
German meat processors introduce minimum hourly wages

The government of the German state of Lower Saxony has reached an agreement with the major meat processing companies on the introduction of a minimum hourly wage of €8.50.

Six unnamed meat processors recently met the state’s economy minister Olaf Lies and the state’s agriculture minister Christian Meyer, negotiating a minimum hourly wage for workers in the meat industry – valid for the whole of Germany. The representatives of the meat companies, together counting several thousands of employees, said to agree to a minimum wage applicable throughout Germany.

Last week, the German Federal Council said to applaud such a minimum wage in an attempt to avoid social malpractice. For a long time, neighbouring countries have been criticising the lack of regulations in the German meat industry.

The industry in Germany is therefore characterised by cheap labour, often from Eastern Europe. This not only led to social dumping, but also for unfair competition with neighbouring countries where minimum wages apply or are legally imposed.