Georgian seasonal workers in Germany complain about 'hard working, living conditions'

The Georgian Employment Promotion Agency states the citizens who did not receive the promised salary, will be reimbursed for their working hours. Photo: Roland Weinrauch/EPA/EFE., 19 May 2021 - 17:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Twenty-four Georgian citizens who went to Germany within a seasonal employment programme say they are working in ‘very difficult conditions’, and are not receiving  the salary specified in the original contract.

The contract stated that the salary should have been €9.5 (hr) and instead we get €3", one of the employees of the programme, Jaba Chachanidze, told local Formula TV.

The reason why this group of Georgian citizens in the programme are receiving a  lower salary is that the on-site farmer decided to reduce working hours for them. 

Chachanidze said that according to the employment programme contract, he was supposed to work eight hours a day, six days a week, however the employer told him that he would only work four hours and would also be paid according to the amount of strawberries harvested. 

Employees say that as soon as they learned of the new conditions, they immediately contacted the Georgian Employment Promotion Agency and the Georgian consulate in Germany and informed them of their problem, but did not receive an answer from them.

The Georgian Employment Promotion Agency states that once they were informed about the problems that one group of the Georgian citizens face in Germany, the agency contacted the German Employment Agency, 'which involved other agencies in the process who were interested in this issue and this took several days'.

As of today, the Georgian side has already received information from the Employment Agency of Germany that specific measures have been taken to improve the working conditions in this particular group...The employer also agreed to pay hourly wages only for seasonal workers from Georgia. If the condition is not fulfilled, we demand the redistribution of the members of this particular group with other employers", stated the agency.

The agency announced that the citizens who did not receive the promised salary, will be reimbursed for their working hours. 

The employment agreement for Georgian citizens to find seasonal jobs in Germany was signed in January 2020 by the German Employment Agency and the Georgian Employment Promotion Agency. Under this agreement, 54 citizens left for Germany from April 14 to May 15, 2021.

As of May 7, 2021 a total of 98,443 Georgian citizens have already registered for temporary legal employment in Germany.

Seasonal jobs are available in the agricultural sector in Germany where about 5,000 Georgian citizens will be able to be legally employed for three months.