Appalling working conditions in the German meat industry have short to live

Dec 14, 2020 | Food, In the spotlight

As slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have recently become major hot spots of COVID-19 outbreaks, workers in the meat industry now get finally the attention they deserve .

Thanks to EFFAT affiliate NGG’s tireless work and pressure exerted over the years, working and living conditions in the German meat industry are finally about to change for the better.

As of 1 January 2021  the ‘Arbeitsschutzkontrollgesetz’ – the law for the control of the health and safety at the workplace, will reinforce occupational health and safety, putting a halt to labour exploitation.

Among the most significant provisions, the new federal measure will prohibit subcontracting in the meat sector in Germany – needless to say the abusive practices around it, and promote direct employment.

The law will inter alia:

  • Extend control with fixed inspection quotas
  • Record working time digitally and double fines for working time fraud
  • Set minimum standards for accommodations (applicable cross sector, also for seasonal workers in agriculture)
  • Set long term funds for the Faire Mobilität – Fair mobility project
  • Prohibit subcontracting from 1.1.2021
  • Ban temporary agency work from 1.4.2021 – with exceptional use only in the processing sector, exclusively if the following conditions are respected: 1 – only up to a rate of 8%;  2 – If a collective agreement with a union to regulate this 8% is signed and for a maximum of 4 months for each worker. (Not applicable for companies with less than 50 employees)

EFFAT welcomes this German trade union’s victory and seizes this opportunity to further push its 10 demands aimed at improving working conditions in the meat sector Europe wide.

Read more on NGG’s website

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