Hiking: Reformation WTF?!

When? Tuesday 31.10 from 14:00
Where? Meeting point is at the Schillerwiesen at the pond (Merkelstraße).

Together with the Falken, we invite you to spend time together and get out of the city for a change during a short hike to the wildlife park at the Kehr. The excursion is an opportunity to get to know not only us, but also the beautiful Göttingen city forest. In addition to group games and warm drinks, there will also be critical input on the Reformation and Martin Luther on the occasion of Reformation Day.

Remember to bring warm clothing and sturdy shoes. The event will be in German and English if needed. We will walk on partly steep, partly non-asphalt hiking trails.

100-member celebration and autumn party

We want to celebrate with you that we are now a union with over 100 members.

When? Saturday 16.09. ab 17:00 Uhr
Where? Café Krawall, Geismar Landstraße 19, 37083 Göttingen

It is not every day that there is something to celebrate with topics around work – but now there is! Even though we founded as an independent grassroots union in the difficult Corona year 2020, we have now left the spheres of under 100 members in the third year since.

We would almost say that the FAU is steadily gaining in visibility, relevance and ability to act in Göttingen and the surrounding area. That this is so, and that this development will continue, is something we want to celebrate – with all of you!

We warmly invite you to our 100-member celebration at Café Krawall (Geismar Landstraße 19, 37083 Göttingen). You can expect a quiz, tricky board games, some speeches, cool drinks and danceable music at a later hour! For late bloomers, we will of course also be issuing membership applications.

For food we will have a buffet, which we will complement with soup (probably Soljanka), bread as well as cakes and other snacks. Feel free to bring a contribution to the buffet, a cake or anything else. Games etc. are of course also welcome.

We are looking forward to seeing you, and to the next zero behind the 1!

Wage fraud at the DHL parcel center – the fight goes on!

More than 40 people attended our rally in front of the labor court in Göttingen on Wednesday, organized together with the FAU Kassel and have shown solidarity with the employees from the DHL parcel center in Staufenberg who have been cheated out of their wages. In addition to the colleague whose case was being heard, six other of the affected employees had traveled to Göttingen especially before their late shift at the DHL parcel center to send a strong signal against exploitation and racism.

WorKings’ lawyer did not appear at the hearing, after the date had already been postponed once by WorKings in March. This reinforces our impression that WorKings wants to drag out the conflict. But we continue to fight! Stay tuned for more actions!

The trial is about a conflict between 24 employees of the DHL parcel center in Staufenberg near Kassel and the temporary employment agency WorKings GmbH. WorKings is a subcontractor that recruited and employed workers for the DHL parcel center. The affected employees were deprived of parts of their wages by WorKings over several months. With our support, they are demanding a total of around 100,000 euros in outstanding wages.

The affected employees are mainly people from Somalia and Eriträea. It is obvious that the temporary employment agency WorKings specifically hired migrant persons in order to systematically cheat them out of their wages. This is therefore also a case of systematic racism.

Rally against systematic wage fraud at the DHL parcel center in Staufenberg

The Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Göttingen is calling for a rally on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 10:15 in front of the Göttingen Labor Court (Maschmühlenweg 11). At the same time, a conciliation hearing will take place in the courthouse. The hearing is about a conflict between 24 employees of the DHL parcel center in Staufenberg near Kassel and the temporary employment agency WorKings.

WorKings is a subcontractor that recruits and hires workers for the DHL parcel center. The employees concerned were deprived of part of their wages by WorKings over a period of several months. The 24 colleagues have therefore submitted reminder letters to WorKings – in total they are demanding around 100,000 euros in outstanding wages with the support of their union FAU Göttingen.

The affected employees are mainly people from Somalia and Eriträea. There was no direct contact person from WorKings but only contact via a WhatsApp group. Those who complained about the working conditions were sometimes threatened with dismissal.

It is obvious that the temporary employment agency WorKings specifically hired migrants in order to systematically cheat them out of their wages. Migrants are particularly vulnerable in the German labor market. On the one hand, because they often know their rights less well – but above all, because their residence status is in many cases linked to employment and thus there is great fear of dismissal.

The case of one employee is now being heard in court. According to calculations by FAU Göttingen, which is representing the former employee in the conciliation proceedings, the plaintiff is still entitled to at least 6410 euros. The reason for this is that, according to labor law, cases must be heard individually. However, a statement signed by all the employees concerned will be read out in court, making it clear that this is not an isolated case but a case of systematic wage fraud. If the company WorKings does not pay, it is to be expected that there will be further negotiations.

In the parcel industry, it is common practice for major players such as DHL and Hermes to work with subcontractors both in delivery and in the parcel centers. This allows DHL to circumvent applicable collective bargaining agreements, thereby saving costs and at the same time avoiding responsibility in the event of labor law violations and fraud at the subcontractors. The contract with the company WorKings has been terminated by DHL in the meantime – however, DHL does not have to take responsibility for the wage fraud.

Come to the rally and show solidarity with the colleagues who have been cheated out of their wages! Against the racist exploitation of workers in Germany and worldwide!

1,900 Euro wage claimed after wrongful termination!

Together with one of our members, we claimed over 1,900 euros in a negotiation before the labor court after a wrongful termination. The comrade had been working at a Corona test center and had been verbally terminated with only five days notice.

However, notice of termination must be given in writing (in paper form with a handwritten signature) and a period of notice must be observed – otherwise it is invalid. Because the comrade had continued to offer her labor, but the boss had not accepted it, the company fell into so-called Annahmeverzug and had to continue to pay the wage without any work having been done in return.

The special thing: The negotiation was not conducted by a lawyer, but by one of our experienced members. Other FAU members were also present in the court to express their solidarity.

Being unionized pays off! Get organized in the FAU!

New date: Labour Conflict Assembly

Our Labour Conflict Assembly is an open platform for people who want to support labour struggles and those who want to change something in their own company. We report from ongoing conflicts of the FAU Göttingen, found new conflict working groups and talk about our respective situation at work, education or authorities. The Labour Conflict Assembly takes place every first Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the FAU local at Obere-Masch-Straße 10, 37073 Göttingen.

Next date is Tuesday 07.03. – before that there is a short introduction to the FAU in Göttingen, nationwide and internationally from 6:30pm for new members and interested people.

New foundation of FAU Kassel

A new FAU initiative has been founded in Kassel, initially still affiliated with us. Around 70 people took part in the founding ceremony! Besides a workers’ song choir, free food, live music and speeches, there was also a greeting from us, in which we briefly introduced the FAU.

We wish the comrades a lot of success in the build-up and will continue to support them actively! For those interested from Kassel and the surrounding area, there is already a Telegram channel: https://t.me/FauKasselNews

2000€ wage demanded for unpaid work and supplements in elderly care!

Together with one of our members, we demanded almost 2000€ for unpaid work as well as missing Sunday and holiday bonuses. The colleague works in outpatient care for the elderly in private households. She had to work up to 15 days at a stretch, take on tasks for which she was not trained and work a lot of unpaid overtime.

After the boss had not responded to our demands but had also missed the deadline to file an official objection, we were able to have the money collected by a bailiff. In the meantime, the colleague is working in another care company, where the conditions are slightly better. Regular work on weekends and too little money at the end of the month remain.

The situation in nursing care for the elderly is not acceptable either for the nursing staff or for the elderly. We need a fundamental improvement of the working conditions in the care, which would mean at the same time an improvement of the living conditions of those in need of care!

To achieve this, we need to organize ourselves into a union. If you have problems at work, want to organize with your colleagues or support other people in doing so, write to us at faugoe-beratung@fau.org

We fought for wages and overtime at cleaning company!

Together with one of our members, we successfully reclaimed outstanding wages and overtime after a termination. Our member worked as a cleaner in a hotel and had been terminated after she accumulated overtime due to too tight time constraints and wanted to be paid for it.

As a rule, overtime must be paid or celebrated off, unless something else is written down in the employment contract – and even if it is in the contract, unpaid overtime may be illegal. Because our member does not speak German, it is reasonable to assume that her boss hoped not to have to pay the overtime. After we had demanded the outstanding wages including the overtime in a letter and threatened with consequences, the entire money was in the account shortly thereafter.

Cleaners are often outsourced to subcontractors, where they work under high pressure for low wages and hardly get any social recognition for it. Yet without them, nothing works!

Do you also have problems at work? Then contact us at faugoe-beratung@fau.org and we’ll work together to find a solution!

Book presentation and discussion: Anti-racism and trade unions in the USA – past and present

The US-American historian Peter Cole presents the book “Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly” in Göttingen and talks about current developments inside the labor movement in the USA.

Where? Obere-Masch-Str. 10, 37073 Göttingen
When? Thursday 07.07. at 7 pm

In the early twentieth century, when many US unions excluded Black and Asian workers, the grassroots union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) warmly welcomed people of color, in keeping with their emphasis on class solidarity and their motto: “An Injury to One Is an Injury to All!”

A brilliant union organizer and a humorous orator, Benjamin Fletcher (1890–1949) was a tremendously important member of the IWW. Fletcher helped found and lead Local 8 of the IWW’s Marine Transport Workers Union, unquestionably the most powerful anti-racist union of its era, taking a principled stand against all forms of xenophobia and exclusion.

However, the struggle against racism continues to this day, as demonstrated most recently by the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests originating in the United States. At the same time, a militant trade union movement has developed in the U.S., and Black workers are playing leading roles in current labor struggles such as those of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). The event will also focus on these current developments.

Following the lecture, we will discuss what can be learned from the historical and current experiences from the USA for anti-racist struggles and labor struggles in other countries.

The lecture will be held in English, translation can be organized spontaneously on site if needed. The event is hosted by the FAU Göttingen and the editorial staff of the journal Sozial.Geschichte Online.

Peter Cole is a professor of history at Western Illinois University in Macomb. He did a lot of research on unionism and is active member of the union American Federation of Teachers.

For Corona prevention please come tested. We also have some rapid tests on site if necessary.

IWW: iww.org/de/
Sozial.Geschichte Online: sozialgeschichte-online.org/