Germany to change labor legislation following Romanian seasonal workers’ protests

The protests of Romanian seasonal workers at farms and slaughterhouses in Germany will lead to the change of the labor legislation in the country, according to Emil Hurezeanu, Romania’s ambassador in Germany, quoted by Romania-Insider.com.

Romanian workers have been protesting in Germany against poor living and working conditions. On Tuesday, May 19, for example, dozens of Romanian seasonal workers participated in a protest in the German city of Bonn, unhappy with the salaries and the conditions in which they work, local G4media.ro reported. They initially marched through the center of Bonn, and then stopped in front of the Romanian Consulate, asking officials to get involved in their problems.

Several members of the German trade union “FAU Bonn” were also present at the protest staged on Tuesday, encouraging the Romanian seasonal workers to defend their rights.

“The coronavirus crisis has put the spotlight on a chronic situation, the inequalities in the European labor market. […] You saw today (e.n. Tuesday) a protest at a strawberry farm near Bonn. People came with a work contract from the country. The farm went into insolvency and was taken over by a judicial executor, which is to pay people’s salaries,” Emil Hurezeanu told Digi24 news channel.

“The minister demands, for example, that subcontractors be eliminated, because employment agents, other intermediary employers intervened in this chain between the employer and the employee. Sometimes there are four or five subcontractors, and the distance between the main employer and the employees has increased greatly to the detriment of the employee. People talk to subcontractors, not with the direct employers. The German minister of labor wants to present a project to abolish these chains of subcontractors, mainly in the meat industry,” Hurezeanu explained.

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