The federal government and supervisory authorities prove to be accomplices in years of major crimes such as the cum-ex tax fraud and the exhaust gas fraud, members of the CDU and CSU act as corrupt pandemic businessmen and the Federal Chancellor reads from the cheat sheet of lobbyists in Beijing and recommends the fraud company Wirecard-but all this is just the scandalized ripple on the surface. The business lobby and its parliamentary arm, supported by even more expensive consultants – they are increasingly brazenly tinkering with an authoritarian business state, at the expense of employees, the self-employed and the small middle class. We focus here on the situation of the employees, because it is tabooed the most.
No more contract and temporary work in the meat industry?
Because the government virologists still refuse to identify the risk groups in the world of work, and because there were no controls even in the most vulnerable professions and even during the pandemic, infections broke out in all the large slaughterhouses among the Eastern European meat producers in the summer of 2020 – suddenly, en masse, catastrophically, as if from the cheerful virus heaven.
“Oops, that surprised us,” it said inaudibly from the government Hospital Charité and the Robert Koch Institute.
No more temporary work? Yes, we do have an opening clause! For this reason, the bill by Labor Minister Heil should prohibit the extremely exploitative and health - endangering work contract and also temporary work in the meat industry, according to the scandal-driven, cocky motto “We are now cleaning up.”
But the law for the Improvement of Enforcement in Occupational Safety of 16.12.2020 allows under pressure from the lobby of Tönnies & Co – Tönnies is in the main location North Rhine – WESTPHALIA one of the large donors of the CDU-since January 2021 with the help of an opening clause but again temporary work. Has anyone noticed?
And even if the partly mafia – like mediators of the previous work contract work no longer have a formal function: For the slaughter work, East European migrants are still searched for and used in a targeted manner, for a time-the permitted temporary work usually lasts up to three years, i.e. the already existing average duration of the work contract work.
Furthermore, it is not planned to be able to elect works councils. The state minimum control rate is 5 percent per year-that is, once every 20 years, one inspection per company. And this, too, will only apply from 2026. “Improved minimum standards” are now planned for mass accommodation – meaning no normal living conditions.
Tönnies has now set up company-owned mass accommodation for the migrant workers – instead of the intermediaries. This now direct and double dependence, the time limit of employment and the lack of representation of the workers make the additional exploitation possible.
Tönnies & Co argue: no German workers can be found for this work in Germany. This is a lie: in the slaughterhouses of the Danish Crown slaughterhouse in Denmark, the majority of local workers are employed, because they are paid decently and employed indefinitely.
But Danish Crown also likes to use the extreme working conditions in the “pigsty of Europe” (Handelsblatt), namely the location Germany, to extra-exploit the Eastern European migrants, who escape from their domestic hardship and silently submit themselves to German extra-exploitation for a few months or years. Germany-the" pigsty of Europe " under the caring “Mother Merkel”.
Companies freed from pandemic measures
The massive, “surprising” infections in the slaughterhouses also happened for this reason: the federal government exempted the companies from the Infection Protection Act. Only half a year after the start of the pandemic measures, on 20.8.2020, the Ministry of Labour, largely unnoticed by the public, published the SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety rule: further without legal obligations for the companies, only lax target rules, without state and police controls, without sanctions, all voluntarily for the entrepreneurs.
Through images of empty inner-city sales streets and police checks in parks, state and private media simulate a general lockdown with home office.
But even in the sharp second lockdown at the end of January 2021, only 24 percent of the employees – that is, a maximum of 11 out of 45 million – were in the home office, and usually only partly because they have to come back to work every now and then, at different times. Simulated general lockdown: But 34 million workers seem to sneak into work every day unnoticed, even on crowded trams and suburban trains.
On March 16, 2021, NRW Labor Minister Laumann announced in the state parliament: Since August 2020, 6,073 companies have been checked for compliance with the SARS occupational health and safety rule, in 40 percent of cases violations were found, but no fines were imposed in accordance with the rule.
The reporting media such as Die ZEIT do not address the proportions: according to official statistics, there are 666,813 taxable businesses in North Rhine-Westphalia. So not even 1 percent of the farms were checked.
On the other hand, the police impose heavy fines in public spaces – equal treatment before the law? Rule of law?
In February 2021, companies should be included in the mandatory vaccination and testing strategy. “But this is not legally possible,” Chancellor Merkel declared after the protest by the BDI and BDA. Only a few days later, the lobbyists successfully doubted the benefits of preventive measures for the Prime Minister’s conference and said that the organizational effort was already too high, as the entrepreneur-Postille FAZ reported approvingly.
Good and speechless shopping in the supermarket; satisfied alone, at best consuming with a small family at home; sneaking unnoticed to work; fearful and disciplined even more work, even if one is ill; not gathering, not organizing, at most invisible digital strike a bit: this is the intensified continuation of the policy that the governments of mother Merkel have been pursuing since the beginning. Under their labour ministers Olaf Scholz and Ursula von der Leyen (2007-2013), the state supervision of occupational diseases was dismantled; the trade supervision was dismantled; the customs-already understaffed-was not sufficiently increased to control the payment of the minimum wage. Millions of entrepreneurs cheat on the minimum wage, on the arrangement of working hours and on overtime, with impunity.
Companies need to pay less and less attention to the health of their employees, at least of the majority. Despite the increased burden of the pandemic measures, no more doctors and nurses were hired. Company doctors-do they still exist?
While the managers of large companies are provided with in-house kindergartens and wellness services and comfortably run the home office for their management work in their spacious apartments, work-related illnesses, including mental illnesses, are increasing in the middle and lower layers of the workforce, in working mothers and especially when they are single, and by pandemic measures more than before. Under the pressure of long-term unemployment and with the help of the unfounded limitation of working conditions, the company management has increased the blackmail of the employees. Supplies, even cheaper, are immediately available.
Motto of the blackmailed: “We accept every job.“Result:” Already beyond the 40 it starts: it is harder to find a new job. In operation one is considered old.“Although this has been illegal since 2006: prohibition of discrimination also because of age, principle of equal treatment according to Article 3 of the Basic Law – and this is also known in the entrepreneur camp. But the targeted violation goes through in the entrepreneur state, with impunity. In the German working world, what are German labour laws, however lenient, quite apart from basic and human rights?
And in addition to the EU, not least driven by the Federal government, using the targeted impoverished member States in the East and in the former Yugoslavia and also by using the associated Eastern partnership countries – Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, permanent migrant labor that young, even during the pandemic, for the hospitals of the rich EU countries, for the meat industry, for logistics, for the construction sites and for agricultural seasonal work – and after the pandemic, certainly for the brothel industry, where the location of Germany is leading also the First EU-exploitation League.
And also all these migrants do not need to stay healthy for the rest of their lives, according to the not pronounced but practiced motto. And the health systems in Eastern Europe, which have been depleted even further because of the recruitment, are not able to provide for all the sick and corona-infected people there for a long time anyway. The migrants are the lowest layer of the systemically worn out. This then runs under the Merkel motto of “European solidarity”.
Works Councils-Strengthening Law: Postponed due to pressure from the CDU / CSU
The contract of the current CDU/CSU / SPD coalition states :” We want to expand the establishment and election of works councils.“Under pressure from the business lobbyists in the CDU and CSU, the law was postponed until the end of the government period, for now.
SPD Labor Minister Heil, the clean-up louse, then presented here again a lame draft. This contained the provision: if employees in the company announce that they want to form a works council, they are already protected from dismissal during the preparation of the election. This is actually a matter of course under the rule of law, isn’t it? And the works councils should be allowed to take part in the digitalisation of workplaces – well-intentioned, one could concede.
But even that was too much rule of law for the ruthless, Christian-painted entrepreneur lobby. They made the bill disappear from the agenda: “Internal government votes continue” -that is, in the language of concealment.
The problem is far greater than the Minister of Labour and the DGB and the trade union-affiliated Hans Böckler Foundation (HBS) and particularly critical initiatives complain about. They complain that there is only a works council in 9 percent of the companies. These nostalgics!
In reality, this is the case: Section 1 of the Works Constitution Act (BetrVG) states: “Works councils are elected in companies with, as a rule, at least 5 permanent employees entitled to vote, 3 of whom are electable.”
According to the Statista Research Department of 14.2.2020, there were a total of 7, 816 million establishments in Germany in 2018. We exclude the 5,646 million micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees – according to BetrVG, they are usually not eligible for a works council, even if they have five or more employees: because some employees are only seasonally or marginally employed. There remain, therefore, 186,339 large enterprises, 792,326 medium-sized enterprises, and 1,191 million small enterprises with 10 or more employees. Thus, about 2.170 million enterprises are eligible in which” works councils are elected " (can).
According to the DGB, a total of 180,000 employees were elected as members of works council committees at the last regular works council election in 2018 according to BetrVG, namely in 26,000 companies. In relation to the 2.1 million enterprises with 10 employees or more, this is just over 1 percent.
And the one percent can be corrupted and worn down In addition, a works council elected in accordance with BetrVG is no longer a guarantee for independent and free representation of employees. Especially in car and pharmaceutical companies and, for example, in the state - owned corporation Deutsche Bahn AG, BR chairpersons are corrupted by high executive salaries.
And the highly paid Union busting industry prevents the election of works councils in series and operates months and years of gruelling dismissal proceedings against already elected works councils. The government and the judiciary are watching, although the prevention and prevention of works councils according to § 119 BetrVG is already a criminal offence, with the possibility of fines and imprisonment. But this crime stands alone at the top of the non-prosecuted crimes. The enforcement deficit is almost as high as in the case of sexual abuse not pursued by the state in the (capital-relevant) Catholic Church. Improvement would therefore not come from a new “strengthening law”, but from a better equipped, politically supported, rule-of-law functioning judiciary.
The permanent unemployment, the permanent outsourcing of operational parts as legally independent units-for example according to the franchise system in the supermarket and catering chains and in the subcontractor chains of the logistics companies such as Amazon, Deutsche Post, UPS, Schenker / Deutsche Bahn – and the expansion of supply chains inside and outside the EU results in a potential for blackmail: with a fist in the pocket, also militant works councils are subject to this, for example when the entrepreneurs demand wage freezes and unpaid overtime, now because of the corona crisis, which is not at all as general as claimed by the lobby.
This is increasingly the case with the corona management of the federal government, as the state bailout of Lufthansa shows drastically: The state pays 9 billion euros for the rescue of the environmentally damaging group, frees it further from VAT on aviation gasoline and watches how more and more employees are placed on part-time and dismissed under crunching approval by works councils, instead of developing environmentally compatible public transport systems with their help – the new major shareholder Knorr Bremse, equipment supplier of Deutsche Bahn, would actually be predestined for this. But the federal government does not impose any conditions, the works councils are weakened, employees are gradually dismissed, the major shareholders such as BlackRock and Morgan Stanley can switch and rule as they like.
In the field of the environment, too: if works councils are to be really strengthened, a completely different approach must be made. Have a say in digitization. But the winning technical innovation missed for years and also blocked with corona: in this too, works councils must be put in a position to develop their own concepts and co-decide on the products.
Supply Chain Law: Draft mutilated to ineffectiveness
According to UN guidelines, companies should be liable for human rights violations along their entire production and service chain. Even the EU Parliament is guided by this, cautiously.
At the same time, the companies in the export location Germany are particularly dependent on global supply chains around the world, above all the textile, car, electronics and mechanical engineering industries, then pharmaceutical and food companies. But the persecution of human rights violations – including child labour, withheld wages, fatal accidents at work – along the entire supply chain is “left ideology”, says Wolfgang Steiger, Secretary General of the CDU Economic Council. Under pressure from this intra-party business round of the CDU Economic Council of BDI and BDA, Development Minister Gerd Müller/CSU, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier/CDU and Hubertus Heil/SPD finally submitted a largely defused bill.
According to this, only companies with 3,000 or more employees would initially be affected, and this would only happen from 2023 onwards. From 2024, companies with 1,000 or more employees will also be included. But only the first direct supplier would be affected. An air number like in the textbook of German politicians and henchmen of the economy! By 2023 and 2024, the companies would also have enough time to establish or commission a few intermediate suppliers if necessary. And civil liability with damages is excluded in the draft law anyway.
But the lobby also wants to prevent this. This supply chain law must be “stopped”, so General Secretary Steiger of the CDU Business Council calls on his Christian brothers and sisters in the German Bundestag.
Raise minimum wage, at least to poor 12 euros? – Rejected
The CDU-Merkel government with SPD was the last one in the EU to introduce a minimum wage in 2015. The business lobby had protested against this. This was successful, at least in so far as the customs were not properly equipped for control at the initiative of Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. So entrepreneurs can millions of times the minimum wage not pay or subvert, with impunity. In addition, the lobby of the newspaper publishers had prevailed: for the nightly newspaper bearers the minimum wage does not apply anyway!
The German minimum wage is a poverty wage in the now and later. According to the current status, it should rise from 9.50 euros to 10.45 euros by mid-2022, according to the proposal of the Minimum Wage Commission.
With this minimum wage in the EU comparison, “rich” Germany is in one of the last places. In relation to the median wage of full-time employees, the German minimum wage is in 16th place compared to all 19 EU countries that have a minimum wage: only in Estonia, the Czech Republic and Spain is it even worse. In addition, unemployment benefit in Germany is similarly at the lowest level, still behind poor Latvia.
Now in the election year, the SPD with Finance Minister Scholz and Labor Minister Heil and also the DGB demand the increase to 12 euros. In addition, holiday, Sunday, dirt and aggravation allowances should no longer be counted as wage-reducing. Because of the election campaign, the SPD ministers woke up a bit. With 12 euros, the minimum wage would be just above the poverty line – but only in the few cases of a permanent full-time job.
But hello, guys, by the way: Who is actually slowing down in the minimum wage commission? The chairman is Jan Zilius, ex-judicial officer of the IG Bau und Energie union. He will be advised by Prof. Lars Feld, the scientific neo-liberal, until recently chairman of the “Wirtschaftsweisen"appointed by the Minister of Economic Affairs. The DGB demands at least 12 euros, but their leading trade unionist in the government commission torpedoes that! When will the unions finally end this duplicitous complicity?
But the BDI, BDA with CDU and CSU also reject the increased poverty minimum wage of 12 euros, and the state-funded, but entrepreneur-friendly ifo Institute with its president Clemens Fuest supports the rejection “scientifically”: Especially in the difficult corona times, entrepreneurs should not be burdened even more.
In addition, the minimum wage would have to be increased mainly because of the majority of women affected. They are also disadvantaged in terms of employment income anyway-they get 20.5 percent less than men. With regard to this discrimination against women, both against human rights and against the basic law, Mother Merkel’s entrepreneurial state ranks 25th in the EU, only in the Czech Republic and Estonia women are even worse off. Where are the feminists?
Against several laws: About 600,000 illegal elderly caregivers
More than 700,000 women, almost exclusively from Eastern Europe, take care of the 24-hour elderly in German households. About 100,000 of these women make such home care legal, either on the basis of an employment contract with the well-groomed person or his family, or under the EU Posting Act on the basis of a contract with a placement agency. But about 600,000 women work here illegally.
Even with the legal execution, German labor laws are violated in series, for example with regard to the daily working time (which does not amount to 24 hours, and also standby time is working time), with regard to the leave to be granted and paid and the continued payment of wages in case of illness. It also happens that a Polish agency turns a poor Ukrainian woman who is not a citizen of an EU Member State into a Polish woman and sends her to Germany. But let’s face it, the entrepreneurial state of Germany does not necessarily want to be a constitutional state, and the EU is pleased that the poor Polish and Ukrainians are not protesting, but helping the elderly in Germany.
But because this can be too expensive for many families, including a few legal violations, between 2,200 and 3,000 euros per month, they are evading illegality:” An estimated " 600,000 care assistants work illegally, i.e. without a contract, neither with the family nor with a placement agency. And with the pandemic measures, labour shortages are increasing in Poland and demand for cheap care in Germany. Illegality takes the form of unregulated self-employment , i.e. the appearance of self-employment: the poorer of the richer Germans save many hundreds of euros in social insurance and other benefits: no payment for overtime, no vacation and no payment in case of illness. And because the German rule of law and the EU can live well with this legal violation, no one knows exactly how many illegals are working in this area alone. This is all well known, but does not lead to criticism in the state and private media.
Economy Minister Altmaier wants to save the outlaw Chamber of Commerce
Now we come to the (Un)legal status of entrepreneurs in Germany in a more general way: In addition to the BDI, the BDA and the CDU Economic Council, the business lobby also consists of the 79 Chambers of Commerce and Industry. This lobby is organized at municipal, state and federal level. The umbrella organisation is the DIHK – but it has no legal basis under the rule of law. Be honest: As a Democrat, would you have dared to think of such a thing?
In 1956, under Konrad Adenauer, the Act on the Provisional Regulation of the Law of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry was passed - and it still applies in 2021! Since 65 (!) Years of a provisional law-is this possible in a constitutional state? It works, at least in the entrepreneurial state of Germany.
It is a law, which at that time was decided only as provisional because of the fear of the good New democrat Adenauer and the business lobby against fundamental disputes in the Bundestag. It was promised to make a real law for this some time later. But from the provisional became an eternity. And according to the will of the lobby and the Christian-led federal government, this should remain so.
Among other things, the provisional Chamber of Commerce Act decrees the compulsory membership of all companies. Withdrawal is not possible-compulsory membership is therefore compatible with” free market economy"! Would you have thought that? Since the entrepreneur to decry-Devotional, such as the FAZ, the “authoritarian” economy in China, but especially in Germany, such a distinction is maintained, for over six decades. It was similar in the Nazi era, by the way. And nowhere in the certainly not flawless Western capital democracy is this so extremely pronounced as in the Federal Republic of Germany from Adenauer to Merkel (and would that be the case with the lax Catholic Laschet or the hard Protestant Söder).
For decades, tens of thousands of medium-sized and self-employed people have been fighting back. They are organized in the Federal Association for Free Chambers, bffk. They have sued hundreds of times before administrative courts in several federal states against the forced membership and against the forced contributions.
Compulsory membership is the one plea, but not the only one. Because the IHK and the DIHK only represent the interests of large companies, act as their lobbyists, without legitimacy. In many cases, the chambers, which have become rich due to forced contributions and which pay their managing directors high, compete with their own members with services. With BDI and BDA, the DIHK is railing against environmental regulations, against the supply chain Act and against the minimum wage, for example-even though the Chamber of Industry and Commerce members have never been consulted and often see it differently.
Federal Administrative Court finally in 2020: IHK illegal! Hundreds of lawsuits were dismissed by the administrative courts-with reference to the provisional, but still valid IHK Act of 1956. But five plaintiffs made it to the Federal Administrative Court in recent years and got right. 2020 has an environmental entrepreneur - after 13 years of procedure! - reached at the Federal Administrative Court: The IHK Münster must withdraw from the umbrella association DIHK. The illegal Chamber of Commerce Act is shaken.
But what does the Christian-merciful entrepreneur-lobbyist Altmaier sit for as Minister of Economy in the federal government? He has presented a bill to save the DIHK. The previously private DIHK is to become a corporation under public law, and the 79 IHK are to be forced members there. This Federal Chamber of Commerce is to be under the authority of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, thus further an eternal provisional.
And what do the Meat workers Protection Act-soft launderers, the supply chain act-stoppers, the works councils-strengthening Act-deferrals, the minimum wage deniers, the lawless DIHT lobbyists themselves enjoy? Just two examples, Amazon, Google, Apple & Co, we leave aside time.
Deutsche Bank: 684 Income Millionaires in Pandemic Year Deutsche Bank cut 3,000 jobs in the year of the pandemic – but BOSS Christian Sewing gets 47 percent more, 7.4 million for the pandemic year 2020. The bonuses of the leading managers increase by 29 percent: 684 German bankers earned more than one million euros-in the year before there had been “only” 583 such income millionaires.
LEG is the third largest housing group in Germany. It was created by the sale of the public housing company of the state of North Rhine-WESTPHALIA by the then CDU / FDP state government-the driving force was Finance Minister Pinkwart, who is today under Prime Minister Laschet again Finance Minister. Today, BlackRock & Co are the LEG’s main shareholders. In the pandemic year, the 406 employees of the subsidiary TSP, which is responsible for the technical management of the 145,000 homes, went on strike. During the laborious digital strike, the workers demanded a wage for months: 170 euros per month more, 100 euros for the trainees. These demands would result in a total of 0.9 million euros-rejected. At the same time, LEG ceo Lars von Lackum alone will receive 1.4 million more for the pandemic year, in addition to his previous salary. While labor incomes are stagnating at a low level, shareholders like BlackRock are enjoying 5 percent more than in the previous year.
The major shareholders, whose stock values have risen and continue to rise as a result of the pandemic measures, continue to seize the state-supported profits in the entrepreneurial state without crisis and continue unhindered with government patience on professionally organised tax evasion, between the EU model state of Luxembourg and the home state of the new US president, Delaware.
But a question!
People, people, men, women, citizens, employees, unemployed, over-and underemployed, unemployed, Leftists, trade unionists, non-leftists and non-trade unionists, self-employed and forced pseudo-self-employed, crowd- and gigworkers, bicycle couriers, craftsmen, deputies (yes, there are still some, at least those who do not have a consulting firm?), parents, grandparents, pensioners, oh, maybe also students, pupils, trainees, and yes, there are still: scientists, teachers, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, doctors, engineers (should we take journalists with us?) of all genders, origins and nationalities – question: in which entrepreneur state do we actually live? How long will we let this partially justified lawlessness continue to please us? Do we want to do something about it now, even before the next election?