Social: Raid against exploitation of temporary workers: many grievances

In a raid against exploitative and inhumane living conditions for temporary workers, 42 apartments were inspected in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Social: Raid against exploitation of temporary workers: many grievances

In a raid against exploitative and inhumane living conditions for temporary workers, 42 apartments were inspected in North Rhine-Westphalia. This was announced by NRW Building Minister Ina Scharrenbach (CDU) on Wednesday after a two-day joint action by the Dutch government and the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The controls revealed "tenant and employee exploitation by temporary work agencies in the German-Dutch border area". Some of the accommodation was heavily littered and infested with mold, and around 30 fire protection deficiencies were found. For the first time, a team from the Romanian occupational health and safety team was also involved.

42 apartments in NRW were checked on Monday and Tuesday. There were nine collective accommodations in Gronau and in Südlohn in the Borken district, as a ministry spokesman said. The uncovered grievances also included renting mattresses between 300 and 400 euros, a lack of power supply and other deficiencies in building and housing law. "The companies have also charged residents excessive rents, sealed them off, threatened them and left them ignorant of their tenant rights," it said. If there is an initial suspicion of usury, for example, criminal proceedings should be initiated. The Dutch authorities would also punish blatant violations of Dutch occupational health and safety law - such as minimum wage or working hours.

On site, the officials met around 150 employees from Dutch temporary employment agencies, who were informed about their protective rights. Scharrenbach emphasized that the primary goal is to end exploitative rental and housing conditions and to protect people from unscrupulous companies. She spoke of a "modern form of slavery". It is also important to look at the children who have come to Germany with their parents.

According to the ministry, it was the third control action of this kind this year after raids in February and May. According to the statement, Dutch Labor Minister Karin van Gennip emphasized that "migrant workers also have the right to good accommodation and a nice job." However, they are often treated as second-class citizens and live and work in "appalling conditions".

According to estimates, around 2,500 migrant workers are affected by exploitative structures in the Borken district. According to the NRW Ministry, Dutch temporary work agencies in particular, mainly with business relationships in the meat processing industry, are building up such structures. Dutch employment agencies buy or rent cheaper living space on the German side - and temporary workers from south-eastern Europe are often recruited in their home countries with false promises.

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