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COVID-19 outbreaks in German slaughterhouses expose grim working conditions in meat Sector

Working conditions for migrants in German slaughterhouses are under the spotlight following over 200 employees tested positive for COVID-19 in a factory at Coesfeld, at the west of the nation.

Coronavirus outbreaks also have been identified in two additional meat processing plants in Germany. The vast majority of those infected have been from Romania and Bulgaria.

Officials say the virus probably spread through shared personnel home, along with the outbreaks are drawing attention to the business’s challenging working conditions.

“Employees from the German meat sector work quite frequently through subcontractors, maybe not to the slaughterhouses themselves, and also the working conditions these subcontractors are usually very, very poor,” explained Szabolcs Sepsi, a counselor in DGB Fair Mobility, that defends migrant workers’ rights in Germany.

These employees contend with”long hours” insecure jobs and frequently squalid home, Sepsi informed Euronews at a live meeting, including that they generally share their bedroom with 2 or three other individuals and are shuttled to operate collectively.

“Their living conditions just don’t let social distancing measures,” he explained.

‘Modern captivity’
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle talked to meat employees crammed in decrepit houses, writing the outbreaks vulnerable”contemporary captivity ” from the business.

There were outbreaks of COVID-19 in slaughterhouses in Several nations in recent weeks, largely from the United States but also in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Spain.

The trend is beginning to expose an embarrassing fact: a lot of the inexpensive meat on Western grocery shelves is slaughtered by researchers who make low salaries, often live together in dorms, and function in busy working conditions in the middle of a pandemic.

“It is mostly the employees in the meat business and other food businesses that are paying the cost for this inexpensive meat and also for the inexpensive food,” Sepsi explained.

It stands at approximately $1,500 a month gross for full-time employees.

However, Sepsi claims the several laws introduced within recent years to enhance the lives of researchers in the German meatpacking industry simply deal with symptoms rather than the origin of this issue: the fact that the majority of slaughterhouse employees are hired by subcontractors that attempt to undercut each other.

“We consider the slaughtering businesses have o employ people directly and provide them direct tasks,” he explained, adding this could help employees afford their flats rather than needing to live together in dormitories during a pandemic.