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Germany and Romania meet to discuss the situation of Romanian temporary workers in the German country

The German Minister of Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, has received the Romanian Minister of Labor, Violeta Alexandru, to discuss the conditions of the return to the field of agricultural workers.

5/20/2020

German and Romanian Ministers meeting.

Romania and Germany not only work closely together on issues related to agriculture and the food industry. Contacts and information are also executed in all departments. Romanian Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru used her visit to Germany to meet Federal Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner.

Attention focused on the location of coronavirus infections in both countries and across Europe, as well as the location of seasonal workers in Germany. Both ministers highlighted the high value of the free movement of workers in Europe, the freedom of citizens to choose where to work.

Sometimes there are long-term connections between Romanian temporary workers and their employers in Germany. On the one hand, trained specialists for planting and harvesting work in agriculture are indispensable in Germany, on the other hand, income is attractive for many Romanians in Germany. Federal Minister Julia Klöckner explained clear and verifiable rules, which include a minimum wage and often also performance bonuses and the necessary employment contract. It also stipulates what is the maximum allowed for accommodation and meals. In addition, temporary workers are insured against accidents and there is the possibility of group health insurance for workers who are not insured in their Romanian homeland.

In early April, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), together with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, with the participation of the Robert Koch Institute, presented a concept for the entry, by air, of temporary workers from abroad under strict infection control requirements. In addition, a quota has been established for the months of April and May that has not yet been exhausted.

Federal Minister Julia Klöckner thanked Minister Violet Alexandru for cooperating with Romania that the Romanian government would continue to allow her compatriots to leave Romania for Germany.

Minister Alexandru emphasized that many of her compatriots liked to work in Germany. He expressly appreciated the fact that Germany would provide support to Romanian seasonal workers, for example in the event of plant closings or illness.

Regular checks of working and living conditions are essential

Federal Minister Klöckner emphasized that the previous high standards of occupational health and safety would be met. Control, which is found in the federal states, was again emphasized and remembered by Federal Minister Julia Klöckner at the most recent conference of agriculture ministers: this is in the interest of all who behaved appropriately and carefully in this situation. of the crown pandemic. By the end of May, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture expects reports from federal states on the state of controls and compliance. The vast majority of farms in Germany are aware of the good work of their compatriots, the Federal Minister assured the Romanian Minister of Labor.

Federal Minister Klöckner emphasized that Germany is a country with high social standards and occupational safety requirements, regardless of the origin of the people. Ultimately, especially during the crown pandemic, it's about the health of all of us and supporting our agriculture, which supplies the population with food.

The ministers also raised the question of the return trip. In the past, there have been problems on the Romanian side for permitting for return flights or landing in Romania. One wants to investigate this question.

After the interview, the Romanian Minister of Labor visited the farms in Brandenburg together with the Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Uwe Feiler, to speak with Romanian business owners and seasonal workers about the work processes and the Labor conditions.

Background

About two thirds of the foreign harvest workers in Germany come from Romania. The concept for the entry of temporary workers from abroad, which the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) presented together with the Federal Ministry of the Interior with the participation of the Robert Koch Institute, offers, among other things: In April and May, a total out of 80,000 harvest assistants can enter Germany, exclusively by air. After a health check, they must not leave the company premises for 14 days for reasons of protection against infection (objective quarantine). The strictest standards of cleanliness and hygiene at work and in accommodation must be observed.


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