French pig slaughterhouses blame Germans for low prices

26-01-2011 | |
French pig slaughterhouses blame Germans for low prices

The French pig meat industry, hit hardly lately, is no longer prepared to sit and watch German slaughterhouses use low-cost foreign workers.

German agricultural title Top Agrar reports that the trade union SNIV-SNCP has complained at the European Commission in Brussels. The trade union said many German slaughterhouses are applying extremely low-cost foreign workers, from Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and even Russia. Their income would be substantially lower than those from German workers. Pierre Halliez, general director at the trade union, said this has led to a strong competitive advantage in the meat market, in favour of the Germans.
‘Social dumping’
Halliez continued to say that the French business had been in favour of a collective approach against social dumping. This approach has been launched as Germany would not always be pushing hard for local companies to adjust to new legislation, although they are linked to European legislation.
Halliez said that even the provisionary EU directive states that new employees, irrespective of nationality, have to be rewarded similar fees to national employees they are replacing. As the workers in France earn about €20/hour, the German slaughterhouses are said to pay €7, Halliez said.
He pointed out that some large meat processors in Germany use 80-90% foreign workers. This, he said, could lead to a price difference of €0.05/kg in pig meat and €0.08/kg in cattle meat.
Related websites:
Top Agrar (in German)