curtis price (cansv@igc.apc.org)
Mon, 29 Jan 1996 23:21:14 +0000

From: WILDCAT@LINK-LEV.comlink.apc.org
Newsgroups: labr.global
Subject: Building Worker III
Message-ID: <5c_XkWugTwB@wildcat.link-lev.cl_>
Date: 27 Dec 1994 02:26:25
X-Gateway: notes@igc.apc.org
Lines: 119

Part III (end) of the "Building workers' newsletter" form Berlin

6. Workers from Eastern Europe

Eastern European day-labourers
(Berliner Zeitung, 23.8.1994)
Report about day-labourers in big german cities. Mostly men from
Poland and in recent months increasingly the former Soviet Union
and Rumania. Many come here as tourists. They wait at certain
street corners till they get picked up by building companies or
private persons. They get between DM 7 and DM 15 an hour - if
they get picked up, that is. They can make DM 1000 a month that
way, still much more as they earn in their own countries.

7. General information

Boom of illegal work on German building sites
(Neues Deutschland, 8.6.1994)
The vice-chaiman of the builders' union (IGBSE) estimates that
there are 500.000 illegal workers on german building sites.
300.000 building companies were controlled last year. 24% of
those employed illegals.

Conficts on Berlin's building sites
(tageszeitung, 27.7.1994)
Unskilled building workers should get about DM 16,50 an hour
taking the collective contract between the building employers
and the union (for workers in East Germany, DM 19,50 in the
West!). Portuguese, southern Italians and southern Spaniards get
between DM 6 and DM 10, English workers get up to DM 15,
Russians, Polish and Ukranians DM 5. The temporary agencies pay
(german) workers about DM 10,50. There are conflicts on the
building sites due to the pressure to work fast and resulting
accidents. Another issue are the different wage levels.
Employers force workers with german passports to accept lower
wages or be substituted by workers from abroad.

Boom but no new jobs
(Berliner Zeitung 10.9.1994)
There are different terms of employment in the building sector.
(1) There are legal company contracts between eastern european
companies and german authorities. But the number of workers
under these contracts went down, from 70.000 two years ago to
35.000 next year. (2) Many workers are employed illegaly on
bigger sites for hours or days. They get DM 5 or DM 6. (3)
Workers from other EEC-countries come here as self-employed
persons through dutch work agencies. The foreign workers get
less money, have to work longer hours and are forced to break
the german safety rules, too. Although there is more and more
building activity in Berlin-Brandenburg and the building
companies have high turnovers, unemployment in that sector is
still rising.

The situation of foreign building workers in Germany
(Leipziger Volkszeitung, 17.9.1994)
No matter whether they get employed through work agencies or
company contracts, foreign workers get paid between DM 5 and DM
10 on average. Some call it modern slave trade. About 500.000
foreign building workers are in Germany, compared to 1,4m
workers with german passports in that sector. The wages are
higher than in their own countries, but foreign workers still
get exploited and it is the big companies which make big money.
An upcoming new EEC-rule should guarantee each worker the
conditons of labour (and payment) of the country where he or she
works in. That might change the situation. But law is not
necessarily reality.

Problems/Questions and Ideas/Proposals
For a (building-) workers' center

* Wages have not been paid, companies closes down,
there is a high injury rate etc.: What can we do?
Black list of firms; archive with information about companies,
sites, problems, actions...

* You are new in town or isolated on your site.
You need some help? You cannot be reached.
You got no postal address?
Info-telephone, letter-box, regular meetings in the center

* You're looking for accomodation. You want to squat.
Where are groups who can support you?
Contacts to squatter groups and tenants' associations etc.

* You have a conflict with your boss.
Where do you get support?
How can others learn about it?
Info network for everyone, newsletter, exchange of experiences

* You want to make a leaflet. How and where can
you do type-setting, translating, printing?
Access to necessary facilities

* Money needed for lawyers, printing costs,
the building workers' center, etc
Fund-raising, benefit parties.

Who We Are?!
We are a small group. Most of us have a German passport, some
work in the trade. We have been watching and discussing the
developments in the Berlin/Brandenburg region in recent years.
We think that the building workers will become some kind of a
"key figure" in the upcoming struggles against capitalism in the
region. We need to build self-organized, non-hierarchical
structures, take the initiative and develope solidarity. We also
need to overcome forms of division like racism, sexism and
nationalism. We offer our knowledge, our facilities and contacts
and our will and desire to fight and win. We propose to organise
a (building) workers' center. We hope to find others who want to
get involved and bring in their ideas and initiative.

For contact, ideas, proposals write to:
T.I.M., c/o Sisina, Postfach 360527, 10975 Berlin


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