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

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

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/

Hike in the city forest with lecture on neo-Nazi activities in the Göttingen area

The Black-Red Lynxes (leisure group of the FAU Göttingen) and the Anti-Fascist Education Center and Archive Göttingen (ABAG) invite you to a hike in the Göttingen city forest on Saturday, May 28, starting at 10:45 am.

On the way we will pass places that are connected with local neo-Nazi history – there will be a short lecture by the ABAG. We will also take time for a moment of remembrance for Alex Selchow, who was murdered by Nazis in Rosdorf in 1991. Despite the historical background we will remember, it should also be a beautiful hike – we come together to remember, but also to have a good time together.

We will hike from the Kehr, over Mackenröder Spitze, Kerstlingeröder Feld and back to the Kehr. Please bring suitable shoes, snacks for common breaks and water. The trail is 13km long with slight inclines, there will be breaks with picnics in between. There is also an alternative end if people don’t want to walk the whole way and that is in Mackenrode Landolfshausen (bus connection).

Meeting point is at 10:45 am at Obere-Masch-Straße 10 to get there by bus. Cost for the bus ticket there and back is 4,80€ and can be covered by solidarity if needed. Just let us know beforehand.

Please come vaccinated, recovered or tested. During the hike we pay attention to a responsible cooperation. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Website of the ABAG: https://antifaschistisches-archiv.org/

We fought for wage continuation during illness! #geldher

Together with one of our members, we fought for around 350 euros in sick pay in a physiotherapy practice. The comrade had agreed with her boss to use up vacation time and overtime she had not taken. When she fell ill during this time, the boss refused to accept the sick leave.

In principle, however, the following applies: If you fall ill while on vacation, you are recovering from the illness and not from the work. That’s why days spent on sick leave do not count as vacation taken and can be made up later. Instead, you are entitled to continued payment of wages.

Do you have similar problems? Then contact us at faugoe-beratung@fau.org and we’ll work together to find a solution! In many cases, it is still possible to claim unpaid wages, vacation pay, etc. up to three years after the end of the contract.

Black-red bike tour

The Black-Red Lynxes, the recreational group of FAU Göttingen, invite you to a bike tour on March 26 at 11:00 a.m.!

We want to start together from the Kiessee. The route is about 20km long and leads through fields and nature. It goes from parking lot 3 between Kiessee and Leine in the direction of Niedernjesa and then further back towards the city.

You don’t have to be super athletic to participate. We can always take breaks as needed, and a picnic is planned. You are welcome to bring snacks for the picnic, vegan/gluten-free if possible.

Please come vaccinated, recovered or tested. During the bike tour we pay attention to a responsible coexistence. For questions you can reach us at srl@faugoe.org

We are looking forward to seeing you!

For a militant feminism!

For this year’s feminist day of struggle on March 8, we participated in the noon rally and demonstration in Göttingen. You can read our speech here:

“First of all: solidarity with the strikers! [Note: On 08.03. the employees of the social & educational service went on strike] We wish you much strength in your struggle!

Forgive my directness, but we have to be honest: Enough is enough!

For so long we have had to live with the exploitation and oppression that this system imposes on us every day. For so long we have had to fight against this system, just like our predecessors. So many had to give their freedom and their lives for this struggle. We say: Enough!

Every day we are reduced to our gender and our appearance. Every day we are treated as objects – whether for the satisfaction of male lust, uninformed curiosity or capitalist profit maximization. Every day we are turned from people into things. We say, enough is enough!

For so long we have been supposed to take care of children and household. For so long we have been supposed to be friendly and helpful. For so long we have been told to take care of everyone and not to run away. We say: That’s enough! We should always be nice and quiet. Always keep our mouths shut. Don’t question or criticize anything. We say: Enough!

For centuries capitalism and patriarchy have been running hand in hand – on our backs. We are supposed to work unpaid or for little money, so that those who already have so much accumulate even more wealth. We are supposed to be just the good cog in the big machine. And because we many small cogs might notice that together we could simply stop this whole wretched machine, we are divided up and rushed on each other.

They tell our brothers – sometimes more openly, sometimes more subtly – “You have nothing and have to slave all day. But at least you can feel like a king at home.” And we are then supposed to restore our own labor and that of all the cis men in our lives in addition to all the wage labor. Are supposed to make what little free time they have as comfortable as possible – as if we weren’t human too! This way we are played off against each other and the perspective of a real liberation is taken away from all of us, also from our brothers.

And here in Germany we are even the luckier ones. Because in the Global South our brothers and sisters are not ‘only’ exploited, but also wars are started, whole areas are devastated, children are enslaved, the water is poisoned with industrial waste, and so much more terrible things to secure the profits of big companies. In short, the country and many of our brothers and sisters are being raped, tortured and murdered.

But we don’t even have to look to the global south, to the cruelest excesses of capitalism. Also here, in the oh so beautiful, western, free, democratic Germany, more than 100 women are murdered every year by their partner or ex-partner. Here, too, more than one fifth of all children live in poverty, that is almost 3 million. Here, too, women, especially trans women, have to prostitute themselves in order to survive. Here, too, people live on the streets without shelter. Here, too, the police only look on when people of color are murdered – if they are not themselves the perpetrators. Here, too, trans people are denied access to medical care. Here, too, people with disabilities are virtually legally obligated to live in poverty. Here, too, people live with hunger, without access to medicine, in poverty and with all the other forms of violence.

Because we have to say this again so clearly: every person who suffers hunger is subjected to violence. Every person who doesn’t have access to medication, violence is done to them. Every person who doesn’t have their own shelter, violence is done to them. Any person who cannot leave a relationship because they are financially dependent on their partner is subjected to violence. Any person who has to hide their gender or sexuality for fear of their life or limb is being subjected to violence. And any person who is non-white, non-German, non-cis, non-straight, and non-male is subjected to violence in this society for this reason.

To make a long story short: Any person who has to sell their labor or their body in order to survive – and that’s almost all of us – is subjected to violence. The difference is only in the nature and extent of the violence. And far too many of us, pay the bill of the rich with our lives every year.

But what now? That all sounds rather depressing – to put it nicely. But what can we do? Well, we can – and we must! – overthrow this sexist, racist, exploitative and murderous system!

This may sound totally unrealistic and radical. But let’s be honest: For centuries our ancestors have been fighting for a better society and a better life. Against this system that murders countless people every year and imprisons even more of us in bondage and exploitation. And we have asked for change. We asked nicely. We wrote petitions. We have voted. We have demonstrated. Have made speeches and written books. We have discussed and philosophized. But nothing has changed in the property relations.

Time is up! We can no longer watch the planet being ground up and all of us with it.

But what can we do? Of course, we don’t have a perfect answer, but we are sure of one thing. What we need is organization. We need to become more, to become many. We need to become aware of our own power and use it for the liberation of all of us. Only organized can we do the actions we need – whether political strikes, blockades, social self-sufficiency, or whatever. Therefore: organize yourselves and organize others!

We are happy if you come to us – the Free Workers Union – and fight with us at the workplace and beyond against exploitation and oppression. But if you don’t like trade unions – or at least ours – then organize somewhere else! This isn’t a team sport, it’s our historic responsibility!

Look at where you are in life; look at what moves you; and join with others! Only if we all fight to the best of our abilities do we have a chance. But if we fight, we have so much to gain.

With that in mind, for a militant Feminist Fight Day! For a militant feminist year! For a militant feminist world!

For freedom! For feminism! Up the international solidarity!”