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(en) Germany, die plattform - Regensburg: Between outsourcing (splitting) the workforce and direct action (de) [machine translation]
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:33:23 +0300
Last Wednesday and Thursday (August 5th / 6th) construction workers of a subcontractor went on strike. They occupied two cranes on their
construction site in the Königswiesen district of Regensburg. The reason given by the workers was that they had not received any wages for
around two months. According to the workers, funds from the construction company were withheld from the subcontractor on strike because the
work objectives were not met. ---- The news of the strike quickly spread on social media and in the Bavarian press. ---- Ultimately,
according to press reports from the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, an agreement was reached: The client company transferred a five-digit
sum to the subcontractor. As a result, the striking construction workers were paid. The strike ended.
One of our members from Bavaria was there and got an idea of the situation. We have also made important experiences here, which we will
carry into future struggles in order to improve the position of wage earners:
"The autonomous group" Social Revolutionary Action Regensburg "(SRA) called on Thursday of this week for a rally shortly before noon and a
demonstration that was still planned in the evening in the old town.
Shortly before the rally, we met with striking workers a little away from the construction site.
Many workers did not understand us at first. They got a colleague who could speak German. He explained that they are from Egypt and that
they are employed by a company (subcontractor) from Italy. No funds were paid. The police would not help them, they would work against them.
You'd be standing here with no supplies. Nearby residents, however, would have been very nice and would have supported them.
At the rally opposite the construction site in the morning, up to 25 participants with banners were gathered, including strikers for a
while. In addition, representatives of the press from Bayrischer Rundfunk (BR) were also present.
Speakers declared their solidarity with the striking workers and urged their colleagues on the construction site to join the strike. One of
the construction workers also gave a speech that unfortunately was not translated and was therefore not understandable for many - including
me. The non-striking construction workers (from other companies / subcontractors) had no or negative reactions to the solidarity appeals.
One of these construction workers justified the lack of solidarity with the striking construction workers by pointing out that they would
only strike for the interests of the boss. This attitude illustrates the systemically created division of the workforce into permanent
employees and workers who work for outsourced subcontractors. The fact that the construction workers went on strike for their interests
(payment of withheld wages) and at the same time indirectly served the interests of the boss of the subcontractor through the payment of
funds from the company to the subcontractor was less important for the non-strikers. In other industries, too, the legally created
separation and better / worse positions between permanent employees, temporary workers and work contracts ensure that there are always final
According to press reports, subcontractors and workers were paid. The strength of direct action as a weapon of war was expressed very nicely
by the stoppage of work and the use of cranes and led quickly and unbureaucratically to the strikers' goal. The solidarity of the workers
with their subcontractors is a point that raises questions, but is at least understandable from the point of view of the interests of the
workers. Of course, it cannot be a matter for the wage earners when capitalists quarrel with one another - in this case, however, the
workers saw their wages and thus their livelihoods in danger and thus acted in their own interest. "
With this story, our member and our organization accompanied an exciting case that we will remember in our future work.
Up for those who fight!
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