The German capitalist model is widely perceived to be in trouble and to undergo profound change. This has become most obvious in the realm of labor relations, as the traditional corporatist system is being radically rearticulated. The article takes stock of the ambivalent disintegration of German labor institutions, setting it in the context of wider processes of social and economic change in this global age. In a critical analysis of the methodological nationalism that informs many contributions in the academic literature, the challenges confronting Germany are examined with regard to issues of mobility/immobility as relatively mobile actors are pitted against more sedentary ones. Exacerbated by the ongoing political re-regulation of the German welfare state, two key developments are identified which demonstrate that the geographies of the current changes are too complex to be rationalized according to a simple scalar logic: (1) the radical stretching and reconfiguration of production systems as German capital belatedly takes advantage of low cost locations in Eastern Europe and Asia, and the tremendous pressure on unionized labor in the wake of this transformation; (2) the squeezing of stable and collectively negotiated employment between highly-qualified elites with sufficient individual bargaining power on the one hand and low-skilled labor migrants against whom sedentary workers are ill-equipped to compete on the other.