Corona in the case of Tönnies: to love God you will eat the Holy!

"We work in the case of Tönnies, in quarantine, nobody cares about us!" Since the days of the Romanian editors of the DW with these and similar appeals from t

Corona in the case of Tönnies: to love God you will eat the Holy!

"We work in the case of Tönnies, in quarantine, nobody cares about us!" Since the days of the Romanian editors of the DW with these and similar appeals from the district of Gütersloh, in North Rhine flooded-Westphalia. Since then, colleagues report in detail about the precarious working and living situation of the so - called factory verträgler from Romania, we have become a Central point of contact for the many women and men feel in the Corona-crisis-abandoned - by both the largest slaughterhouse operators in Germany, Tönnies, as well as of the Romanian sub-contractors, over which they are employed.

On the phone tell you in detail about the hard work in the slaughterhouse and the harsh sound there, about the lack of protection measures and the often inhumane conditions in their apartments. And about the sudden quarantine, in which they were left alone. All of what our colleagues reports since the days of the Region, is confirmed again and again in the discussions. Slowly, the dark veil that lies for years on the web of dependencies, threats, and poor pay, to the exploitation is disclosed.

A simple mesh

Some of our interview partners describe their experiences quiet, others are excited. If your Calls are often heard voices in the Background. Votes from people who also want to get a word in. Many are engaged since years in the case of Tönnies, and others only for some months. About Romanian sub-contractors they had come to Germany, tell you. Subcontractors, such as DW-searches in Romania and Germany show, the convey of your commercial at home and in Germany, tens of thousands of women and men from Romania in the entire Federal Republic of Germany as cheap workers.

The mesh very simple: On Display in Romania work force for harvesting Asparagus, strawberry harvest, or slaughterhouses. Then, it is still made in the country of origin of a contract. The cost to the employee, usually 100 Euro. Also the cost of transportation by Bus will often be the employee paid (240 Euro for the Outward and return journey).

The minimum wage of 9.35 euros per hour is guaranteed, it says in all the ads. However, 7 euros per day the cost of living of around 200 euros for a bed in the Collective housing, and other "incidental expenses" is due. Although according to the contract, promised to pay Overtime extra, these are not always on the monthly pay slips: many workers tell us that they were worthy of 700 to 900 euros net per month. In some cases, a portion of the Overtime bar had been paid "on Hand" - so the German authorities.

sending money home for the whole family

in Spite of the precarious conditions in the slaughterhouses and accommodation: some of the women and men, with whom we have spoken, were not entirely dissatisfied with their pay. Even though many "have always had the feeling" to be a part of your salary been cheated. He had, however, twice as high as at home, they say. If there is ever a work. Of the money you sent each month to the home, their whole family is dependent.

The courage, to ask, whether everything on the pay slip is correct, had the Least. They dared, nevertheless, have the shift supervisor, foreman and sub-contractors – Romanians all also always and an explanation for all of Europe had. Up to the German superiors, or even the "big boss" there would have been no access. "To love God you will eat the Holy" - this is a well known Romanian saying returns often in our conversations.

And yet something is clear: not all subcontractors are lump-sum in the criticism. It is the many "black sheep", which must finally be it, but we hear again and again. A company is called relatively often: MGM, an Agency in East Westphalia, the owner of Dumitru Miculescu is.

Well-connected business man from Romania

Our research in Romania revealed that Miculescu controls several companies in Germany and Romania, which are set up by job placement to property wide. His career began in südrumän of the County of Dâmbovița with a pig and poultry breeding. According to matching media, he was sentenced to reports, in 2011, in a corruption process of law to a one and a half year suspended sentence. Nevertheless, Miculescus transactions that were running freely. Well-connected business man family members and friends could be placed in important Offices and a network of companies, local media and state authorities to control.

As a successful entrepreneur, Miculescu was also politically active. Depending on the interests in the Region, he moved several times the party affiliation of all over the place, from left to right and back. Unwelcome competitors and political opponents, he is said to have repeatedly put under pressure and even threatened, reported to us. Did it to him apparently, not much: Without success Miculescu of the policy in 2016, returned to the back. Since then, he has concentrated on his growing commercial network in Germany. threaten

Miculescus reputation, critics, and to put workers under pressure, accompanied him also in Eastern Westphalia. With his successful "business model" - including wage dumping and exorbitant rent in the private real estate for "his" work verträgler -was Dumitru Miculescu also in Germany in the headlines, five years ago, in the time, in the last days in the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, or in the mirror. An interview request from DW unfortunately remained unsuccessful.

Romanian workers want to re -

In a few days, the quarantine will be lifted in the Tönnies meat factory to resume operations. Some of the workers with whom we spoke, shortly before the Lockdown went back to Romania and don't want to work again in the case of Tönnies.

Others, who are left, hope for better working and living conditions - also thanks to the many media reports about their precarious position. Meanwhile, Ads will appear in the relevant Online-portals - search desperately for labour in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. To is better conditions, it in the ads.

you will come back again, women and men from Romania, the see of your home, no well-paid work. Many with whom we spoke expressed a desire to be directly from your German employer, should prohibit the long-overdue law on work contracts in the German meat industry. Is it the intention of the German Minister for Labour, Mr Hubertus Heil (SPD), could be the already on 1. January 2021 to be the case. The Bundestag is to decide after the summer break on a bill.

Whether similar provisions are also used in agriculture, on construction sites and in the courier service is not even up for debate. From these areas we have reported for years about a scandalous state of Affairs. It would be a strong Signal, if Germany would use during its presidency of the EU for Europe-wide Standards in the workers ' movement. For the benefit of the workers.

author: Robert Schwartz (Berlin), Cristian Stefanescu (Bucharest), Adrian Mogos (Bucharest)

*The post "Corona in the case of Tönnies: "to love God you will eat the Holy!"" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 02 July 2020, 07:26

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