There have been pockets of COVID-19 infections in several meat factories. "These infections are a threat to the infected workers. And they jeopardise the chance to ease restrictions in these districts, which we have together made possible. So they affect life in the affected regions," explained Federal Labour and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil.
On Wednesday the Cabinet adopted the cornerstones of an occupational health and safety programme for the meat industry. Some of the provisions are listed below:
Foreign workers play an important part in the meat industry. They need to be afforded special protection because most of them are only in Germany on a temporary basis, have at best limited German language skills at their disposal, and have no realistic chance of finding accommodation on the market.
In parts of the meat industry, serious shortcomings have been identified time and time again for many years in terms of working conditions and accommodation for workers. "These shortcomings make for conditions that cannot be described as decent working conditions and they are dangerous. We want to remedy them swiftly and thoroughly," said Federal Labour and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil.