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Yes to labour mobility – but it must be decent and fair

August 31, 2020

Information, counselling and support: On 27 August, State Secretary Schmachtenberg visited the German Trade Union Confederation’s “Fair Mobility” project in Berlin.

Bildcollage: Links ein Mann im Anzug, rechts eine Hand mit Visitenkarten

Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, an increasing number of violations of working conditions have come to light in different sectors across Germany as regards remuneration, occupational safety and health and hygiene standards. The German Trade Union Confederation’s project “Fair Mobility” offers EU workers comprehensive information and counselling designed to counter the circumvention of their rights in Germany.

On Thursday, 27 August, State Secretary Schmachtenberg visited the Berlin site of the project to learn more from its staff members about the counselling services it offers. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has supported the project since 2011 and has successfully worked to ensure that starting in 2021 the project will be scaled-up and put on a permanent footing.

State Secretary Schmachtenberg made the following comment at the project site:

“Unfortunately, violations and abuses at the expense of EU workers were already occurring before the pandemic. The crisis has again reminded us of the importance of counselling and information services for EU workers in order to protect them from exploitation. Often workers do not know their rights, partially because of language barriers. Everybody benefits from the free movement of workers and labour mobility as long as people comply with the rules and rights are enforced. That is one of the reasons why I am all the more pleased that we are moving the counselling network “Fair Mobility” from the pilot-project stage to a permanent service and that we will add more staff, more counselling centres and a multi-lingual hotline.