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!

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