The article addresses industrial relations and employment conditions within the German pork industry. We outline how the utilization of favourable labour market conditions has revolution-ized the market position of German pork producers, helping to catapult Germany to the centre of Europe’s pork value-chain. Moreover, we discuss how the emergence of Germany as a key player in this branch is contingent on precarious employment and a system of industrial rela-tions underpinned by an aggressive unitarist employer agenda. Finally, the article considers developments that have attempted to reverse the precarious nature of employment in the meat industry as well as strengthen industrial relations procedures. Finally, although the article is not designed to make sweeping statements about wider developments within the German in-dustrial relations system, being the focus on one particular sector, the meat industry, we cannot exclude that developments presented here could serve as a warning to other sectors.
Keywords: Value chain; German meat industry; Industrial relations; Precarious employment; Unitarism; Labour market; Subcontracting.