We analyze the effect of collective wage agreements and of works councils on the cyclicality of real wages. Using employer–employee data for western Germany (1995–2004), we find that wage adjustments to positive and negative shocks are generally not symmetric. Wage growth increases in all industrial relations regimes when unemployment is falling, but this inverse relationship is weaker when unemployment is rising. Moreover, in plants with individual-level bargaining, wages do not adjust at all to rising unemployment. Works councils increase wage growth only in firms covered by sectoral agreements, but they do not affect the cyclicality of wages.