Unpaid overtime, cramped living conditions, and no compensation for sickness or injury – tens of thousands of Eastern European meat processing workers toil in Germany under intolerable conditions in Germany’s largest slaughterhouse for pigs.
A surge in coronavirus infections at the Tönnies meat processing plant revealed the sector’s abusive working conditions to the general public. The workers are being beaten down by a system of exploitation. In Germany, the meat processing industry, construction companies, and farmers use subcontractors to hire their workers rather than employ the personnel themselves. In doing so, they dodge their obligation to comply with labor regulations. Lavinia Pitu met up with two Romanians who came to work in Germany and spoke with them about their experiences working for subcontractors.
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