Online on May 8th, 2020 11:50 pm
The German meat industry appears to be exceptionally badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In a number of slaughterhouses, a striking number of workers were infected. They were closed. The entire workforce should now be tested.
In Coesfeld in North Rhine-Westphalia, the critical value of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week was exceeded. There the number reached 52.7. The virus had recently spread mainly in a slaughterhouse.
129 infected people were recorded there. All 1,200 employees are now to be tested.
The Health Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Karl-Josef Laumann, took action and had the business closed for the time being.
In a sister company of the Coesfeld plant in Oer-Erkenschwick in Recklinghausen, 33 out of 1,250 employees are said to have contracted the virus.
All employees are tested
A slaughterhouse is also affected in Schleswig-Holstein. Most infected people are employed by a meat company in Bad Bramstedt in Segeberg. There were 109 employees tested positive for the corona virus by Thursday, as the authorities said. All employees of the company were quarantined, regardless of the test result.
Most of the workers from abroad are accommodated in shared accommodation on the site of a barracks in Steinburg. Steinburg was above the limit with 87 confirmed current cases. The Ministry of Health of Schleswig-Holstein also announced on Friday that the workforce of all slaughterhouses in the state would be tested for the corona virus.
Unsustainable conditions in infection protection
According to a media report, German labor minister Hubertus Heil asked his country colleagues to strictly control occupational safety for seasonal workers in agriculture and the meat industry because of several CoV outbreaks.
“Particular care should be taken with the situation in collective accommodation and when transporting people,” according to the North German Broadcasting (NDR) and West German Broadcasting (WDR).
Media reports on “unsustainable conditions in company infection control” were the reason for the letter.
In his letter to his ministerial colleagues in the federal states, Heil points out that several diplomatic representations of workers’ countries of origin have already complained to the German government.
Focus on harvest workers
Migrant workers and seasonal workers in the meat industry and also in agriculture are often defenseless against the corona virus. Because people mostly live in narrow collective accommodation, which significantly increases the risk of infection. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone there are 35 large slaughterhouses with up to 20,000 employees.
Like North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt also wants to test all employees of slaughterhouses in the state for the corona virus. The Minister of Health of Saxony-Anhalt, Petra Grimm-Benne, announced that all harvest helpers would also be tested.
Hygiene and safety rules are not observed in many companies.
Hundreds of positive tests
According to a “Spiegel” report, more than 600 employees in slaughterhouses across Germany have so far been tested positive for the corona virus. According to the authorities, the magazine reported that mostly Romanian contract workers who had been living in shared accommodation were infected.
Around 300 infected people have also been registered with a Baden-Württemberg producer in the past few weeks. “Work can continue in the factories because the authorities assume that they have the situation under control with the quarantine measures in place,” (!!!) the “Spiegel” report continued.
A kind of “emergency brake”
In Germany, all federal states had agreed on Wednesday that numerous restrictions on public life imposed by the coronavirus crisis would be relaxed on Monday.
If the limit of new infections from 50 to 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded within seven days, a restriction concept should immediately come into force – a kind of “emergency brake”.
If the infection is local and clearly delimitable, for example in a facility, restrictions can only be imposed for this facility.
And I mean… As in any other industry, the meat industry is also about money.
Lot of money….
Minister Laumann only now wants test all employees of the affected slaughterhouses. Why not before?
We condemn the conditions under which the Germans pay these people, even though they are animal killers, and how they are treated.
And above all because the government wants to continue as before.
Uncontrolled and outrageous.
Even if all slaughterhouse workers in the German Republic are tested, the main problem remains: the slaughterhouses!
With 763 million animals a year dying under unsanitary and miserable conditions, our lives will never be safe.
Unless we all change that.
My best regards to all, Venus