The German Trade Union Confederation of Bavaria (DGB Bayern) calls for a “significant expansion” of “operational controls by customs and occupational safety authorities” in seasonal agriculture. “Many seasonal workers continue to work under miserable conditions. In addition to attempts to circumvent the minimum wage – for example through incomplete wage payments or excessive wage deductions for sometimes inhumane accommodation – violations of infection control measures and health protection are also the order of the day in many companies,” DGB Bavarian Chairman Bernhard Stiedl told WELT AM SONNTAG.

The background to Stiedl’s demand is the fear that farmers could pass on sales declines in certain types of vegetables and fruit, such as asparagus or strawberries, to seasonal workers in Eastern Europe. The organization Fair Mobility, which is close to the trade union, expects increasing attempts to circumvent the minimum wage for Eastern European harvest workers.

“It’s a scandal when farms pass on their economic risk to their mostly precariously employed seasonal workers,” Stiedl continued.