Unions want better protection for seasonal workers

Released on 22.10. 2021

  • Harvest helper when picking asparagus. Icon image. Photo: Peter Steffen

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Despite Corona, thousands of migrant workers from Eastern Europe brought the harvest in Germany again in the past season. To prevent exploitation, unionists have some suggestions. 2021

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – The Bauen Agrar Umwelt trade union has demanded better social protection for seasonal workers in agriculture.

«The permanent massive labor law violations in seasonal work must finally stop », said the IG BAU Vice Harald Schaum on Friday at the presentation of the annual report 2021 of the fair agricultural work initiative. According to the union’s assessment, around 102 were again in the current year. 000 Migrant workers used for the various harvests in Germany.

The report documents numerous cases, most of them from Eastern Europe originating people were deprived of their fair wages with various methods. Inadequate accommodations, for which in some cases excessive rents were demanded, as well as inadequate corona protective measures are other common shortcomings that were noticed during the initiative’s company visits. According to foam, the strict work quarantine that was sometimes imposed also harbored a high potential for abuse because the employees were practically bound to a company.

DGB board member Anja Piel criticized the during the pandemic 102 days of extended time during which seasonal workers could be employed without social security. The next government coalition must end the “exploitation in German fields,” said the union. “The socially unsecured short-term employment must be limited to a few days a year in all sectors.” State controls would have to be expanded and working hours reliably recorded. In addition, employers should bear the costs for decent accommodation.

The obligation to provide evidence of health insurance, which will apply from next year, will not be sufficient, said Katharina Varelmann from the Faire Landarbeit initiative. You expect that many employers will conclude private group insurance contracts with an unclear scope of benefits. The employees would not have direct access to the benefits that is independent of the employer.

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