German Meatworkers' Strike

German Meatworkers Strike Against Harsh Attack on Working Conditions
Posted to the IUF website 18-Jul-2008

The conflict continues at Germany's Südfleisch meatpacking operations, where the IUF-affiliated German Food and Allied Workers' Union NGG's is fighting through strike action management efforts to radically lower working terms and conditions. Südfleisch was acquired by the Netherlands-based food TNC VION (meat, ingredients, prepared and convenience foods etc.) in 2005. Since then, no new collective bargaining agreement has been negotiated due to management refusal.

On June 23, negotiations for a new CBA broke down over management's insistence on lengthening the workweek from 38.5 to 42 with no increase in pay. Rolling warning strikes and longer, open-ended strike actions have been carried out by 700 workers at plants in Waldkraiburg, Lauda, Traunstein, Weiden, Bayreuth and Bamberg. The conflict intensified when negotiations broke down again on July 7. The union is seeking improved overtime and better wages in the form of a new agreement, which management categorically rejects.

VION has aggressively attacked wages and conditions in other German companies it has purchased. The NGG therefore sees this conflict as significant not only for Germany, but for Europe and internationally – German "cheap meat" is an attack on meatworkers everywhere through social dumping.

The NGG has requested international support through an on-line campaign. Send a message to Vion corporate management in the Netherlands.

You can also send a message of solidarity to the union in your own language by e-mail to the regional NGG at

Copies of your messages will be automatically forwarded to the IUF and to the union. We thank you in advance for your solidarity and support.