Goals and Work Plan

To achieve our goals, we will deepen the study of industrial relations at a European and comparative level, trying to understand the reasons of the existing conflicts and the main features of the system of collective bargaining within the meat sector. The overall goal is to understand whether there is some room of manoeuvre to improve social dialogue, possibly promoted and supported by common strategies and initiatives that could have positive effects on workers in terms of income, working conditions, and social inclusion. Such reinforcement is vital, especially after the economic crisis and the connected EU austerity measures.

According to this framework, the research will analyze the structure of the pork value chain, at all stages, in all the involved States: as such, we will try to identify the specific characteristics of its recent reorganisation in the respective companies, sectors and countries (regional concentration of suppliers, growing hierarchy among them, internationalisation of the value chain), while, on the one hand, we will sketch how these dynamics impact the market structure, and, on the other hand, we will consider how they affect employment conditions and wages.

One of the outcome of the project will be recommendations aimed at enhancing industrial relations along the value chain, considering the different characteristics of the EU member States. We will overview the meat market’s dynamics exploring different international experiences to systematize and compare them, from different points of view


In fact, the analysis will be carried out with a multidisciplinary methodology examining the industrial relations of the pork industry from an economic, sociological and legal point of view. The research will be carried out through desk and field analysis and with an interdisciplinary approach. This will allow implementing a socio-economic and juridical survey of the European pork value chain and its industrial relations.

The activities are aimed at enhancing the role of industrial relations through studies, surveys, reports and scientific papers. Divulgative publications, meeting and international conferences, the website and the social network activities will all increase the awareness regarding the actual practices of the national and European social dialogue, based on a collaborative approach among public actors, academy and social actors. All mentioned activities, are organised in work packages and divided in specific tasks. You can download the Project Application or the Work Packages Specification.

The first stage (Work Package 1) consists of a stream of activities dedicated to set the research methodology.

The second stage (Work Package 2) concerns the structure of the Pork value chain from an economical, legal and sociological point view.

The third stage (Work Package 3) includes the analysis and the mapping of the European social dialogue and a comparative analysis of the national industrial relations systems in the pork value chain, since significant differences must be investigated.

The fourth stage (Work Package 4) is devoted to select some national case studies taking into account the findings of the previous stages of research. The project intends to focus on the innovative best practices of industrial relations while exploring and mapping the legal and illegal practices aimed at reducing labour costs.

The fifth stage (Work Package 5) intends to address some proposals to design recommendations aimed at improving the trade unions relations based on the results of the research.

The sixth stage (Work Package 6) will last for the whole life span of the project and will disseminate and exploit the research results in order to maximise the project impact.