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"All workers must benefit from fair working conditions"

August 13, 2020

Joint Statement by Violeta Alexandru, Romania’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, and Hubertus Heil, Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Situation during the virtual conference

Today, Violeta Alexandru, Romania’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, and Hubertus Heil, Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, held a video conference to discuss the cooperation of the two countries in the field of worker protection. Due to infection trends in Bucharest, the planned face-to-face meeting in Romania had to be postponed at short notice.

Labour ministers Violeta Alexandru and Hubertus Heil made the following statement:

Especially during times of corona, we want to intensify the cooperation between our two countries. We agree that work must not make people sick -neither in the field, nor in slaughterhouses nor anywhere else! All workers must benefit from fair working conditions regardless of what kind of contract they have. In Germany, the rights of Romanian workers must be respected and enforcement improved. In this regard, Germany will take a major step forward with its Occupational Safety and Health Inspection Act. More inspections, higher standards for accommodation and mandatory working time recording as well as higher penalties for employers for misconduct -these are the three areas of measures designed to prevent abuseand exploitation in future.

Also, we want to join forces at the European level to enforce workers’ existing rights, including the rights of seasonal workers, more effectively. We aim to make significant progress in this area with the draft Council conclusions on seasonal workers, which we would like to see adopted at the October Council of the Employment and Social Policy Ministers.

We are committed to intensifying our bilateral cooperation. Today, we did this via video conference, but in the near future we will hopefully again have face-to-face meetings. The joint working programme of our ministries includes a review of social protection and better counselling for Romanian workers in Germany regarding their rights, a goal that will be undertaken in the two countries simultaneously.

Romania and Germany are strategic partners for each other now and in the long run. Both our countries are looking forward to further deepening our constructive cooperation during Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Hu­ber­tus Heil: "We want all peo­ple in the EU to be able to live their lives with se­cu­ri­ty and dig­ni­ty"

During their first video conference in the framework of Germany's Presidency of the Council of the EU, employment and social policy ministers talked about the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.