Novel Coronavirus Contagion Is Expanding in German Meat Industry
June 25, 2020 (EIRNS)—-After the mass infections at Tönnies in Rheda-Wiedenbrück and Wiesenhof near Oldenburg, another slaughterhouse now reports coronavirus infections. According to information from the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) media network, it is a slaughterhouse of the Danish Crown company in Cloppenburg. According to this, three employees had tested positive for coronavirus.
Germany, like most European countries, used to have a slaughterhouse in every town, generally run by the local municipality or a consortium of local meat producers. Such facilities were so overloaded with EU pro-animal regulations and facing competition from meat cartels, that they were shut down and replaced with the private meat industry. But some cases, such as the city of Fürth, show that where there is a political will, city slaughterhouses can survive.
Slave-labor conditions in the German meat industry were already exposed by the Germany’s public health institute, the Robert Koch Institute, reported the “German Foreign Policy” news website on May 12: “Disastrous living conditions of Eastern European slaughterhouse workers in Germany lead to massive infections with the COVID-19 virus.
“The infection of hundreds of workers from Eastern and Southeastern Europe with the COVID-19 virus in Germany causes protests by the diplomatic missions of their countries of origin. The workers who work at low wages for German slaughterhouses often live in disastrous conditions; According to the Robert Koch Institute, this resulted in a ‘striking accumulation’ of tuberculosis cases among Romanian slaughterhouse workers in 2018. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is now favored by the fact that their desolate living conditions have not been improved since then, but have continued to be ignored. The situation of Eastern and Southeastern European workers in Germany results from the fact that the stark income gap in the EU often leaves citizens from peripheral countries with little choice but to earn their wages in the wealthy center of the European Union; they have to put up with the lowest wages and miserable living and working conditions. In this way, they secure cheap exports and a leading global market position for the German meat industry.”