How false or real are the expectations of some Romanians who go to work in Germany? The Deutche Welle station took over a sociological investigation that appeared in the German press and claims that even now, after countless scandals related to working conditions for Eastern Europeans, the expression modern slavery remains valid.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published a material related to the Romanian workers returning from Germany with various ailments and traumas, but also with less money than they hoped for. Some make 26 hours on the road to see their relatives left in Romania from time to time, however rarely. Many have occupational diseases, especially if they have worked in slaughterhouses, for example. The journalists from Deutshe Welle talked to a Romanian who worked in such conditions, and now he is glad that he found honest employers in Germany.
Marin Ion, former employee at the slaughterhouse: „In the slaughterhouse, I think there are many companies that make fun of people and their interest…money in the middle earned as easily as possible on the backs of other people who work until they fall in their heads”.
Not everyone agrees with these accusations, but the investigations and sanctions of the German authorities show that there are situations of abuse against Eastern European employees, many of them Romanian.
– „No, I don’t agree. Let’s be serious. Why like slaves? No one forces you to come to work, no one takes us by force, with a whip… God forgive me… it’s a schedule that must be respected, that’s all”.
The study that inspired the article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and picked up by Deutsche Welle estimates the number of Romanians who, in Germany, work in construction at tens of thousands. They work much more than the norm, overtime is not paid, sometimes even the actual leave does not come without arguments with the employers, cases of occupational diseases are covered up so that the days not worked due to recovery reasons are not accounted for.
When they leave home, Romanian workers are lured by myths: the hundred euros earned in a day that they will put aside to start a successful professional future in about five years, the respect for the employee and the rules, the legislation German that leaves no room for bargaining. An attractive painting, say the authors of the FAZ article. The reality, however, is completely different, and describing it as “slavery” is by no means a gross misrepresentation.
Editor : A.C.