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Belgian ministers lodge complaint against ‘shameful’ German employment practices

11:51 19/03/2013

Minister for economy Johan Vande Lanotte and employment minister Monica De Coninck will lodge an official complaint to the European Commission against the German authorities in order to stop social dumping in the country, Le Soir and De Morgen report today. This unfair competition leads Belgian companies into bankruptcy, the ministers say. They have decided to launch their action after complaints from the meat sector in Belgium. “Many of these companies have begun to downsize or relocate to Germany because they are no longer able to cope with this competition,” says Vande Lanotte. “One of them has started cutting the carcasses into quarters and sending them to Germany, rather than doing the whole work in Belgium. Over there, meat firms use workers paid very low wages, which is much more profitable. Such practices are unacceptable,” he adds. The complaint aims to end the “shameful practices”, although Germany is in compliance with European directives. Germany doesn’t have a minimum wage system and it is reported that some Eastern Europeans work in the German meat industry for as little as €600 a month.

Written by The Bulletin