On behalf of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the Cologne Institute of Economic Research analysed the impact of the crisis on German industrial relations. The German industrial relations system proved able to facilitate solutions for dealing with the negative effects of the global economic crisis. From mid-2008 onwards, employer associations and trade unions as well as company managements and works councils in the worst affected industries worked closer together. As first studies show, the cooperation between the social partners at all levels aimed at maintaining employment levels and avoiding redundancies or even works closures. Conflicts over better working conditions and pay are nonetheless thought likely to reappear during the economic upswing.