DW: In many of the Reports about the working conditions in the meat industry is the talk of unpaid Overtime. Have you also made this experience? How long is a working day for you lasted?
worker: for Two years I was in Tönnies as a factory worker. We were rarely in accordance with the agreed 8 hours. Often there were 12 or even 13. We have written down the Overtime. But on the salary slips is to be seen at the end, nothing of it.
How were the working conditions?
It was very cold and damp, the Assembly lines moved very fast. I have heard colleagues cry at night in the accommodation, because they had such terrible pain, her hands were all swollen. But we took courage and said to each other: Stop.
A friend of mine has asked me time and again that I take him, he wanted to work in Germany. I said to him: Take at least enough pocket money to afford a Ticket back home. It was good advice, because after a single day in Tönnies my friend gave up and returned to Romania.
there Were regular checks?
When the checks came, was slow down the speed of the conveyor, then our work was easier. But you knew in advance that an inspection is coming. Why do you not unannounced? Only then the control could your see how the situation really is.
Were you prepared as a factory worker on such controls?
we have been advised to say nothing. According to the Motto: ”If the control comes in, says that you don't speak English." Even if some of us speak the language.
Was exercised in any manner by the company pressure on you?
Were German, your direct supervisor or Eastern Europeans?
The great Chef was German, but the foreman on the Assembly line was Romanian because he had to translate, most of the workers speak no English. These foremen were mostly Romanians, who had the good fortune to have in school learned German. Of their superiors, they had the arrangement to ensure that people call in sick.
How were the conditions in your accommodation?
Some of the properties in which I lived, were very clean, but there were also exceptions. It was always very close, sometimes 10, 12 or sometimes even 14 people in a single apartment. The monthly rent was 200 Euro per Person. The building belonged to the sub-contractors. A Romanian sub-contractors has purchased, for example, a whole building using a loan from the Bank and then the apartments on worker rents. But it is just not fair to put so many people in a single apartment!
so you See the contractors as the main problem?
Yes. A friend of mine is directly employed by a German operation and has no problems. He has no fear when he goes to work. No one yells at him, nobody insults him. We hope that in Germany the law is adopted draft of the prohibition of works contracts by the Parliament.
are you in contact with former colleagues who still work in the case of Tönnies?
Yes, to two colleagues who are now in quarantine. You say you've brought enough food and water. But you are not very insecure, you know how everything goes on. One of them has long had health problems, but he tells me he's fine – at least for the Moment.
The conversation Lavinia Pitu led. The identity of the Romanian worker is the DW-known. He does not want his Name published. He now works for a different company in Germany, and says he is with the working conditions satisfied.
author: Lavinia Pitu
*The post "Romanian workers: "at Night I heard crying colleagues"" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.Deutsche Welle Updated Date: 24 June 2020, 15:26