German Embassy: 24 Georgian seasonal workers to be transferred to new employer this week

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. Photo: DPA., 18 Jun 2021 - 18:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

Twenty-four Georgian citizens who went to Germany within a seasonal employment programme and are in ‘very difficult working and living conditions’ will be transferred to a new employer this week, announces the German Embassy to Georgia. 

The German government agencies quickly and efficiently investigated the case and took appropriate action. Creating good employment conditions for seasonal workers is a key precondition for the successful implementation of the mediation agreement", reads the statement published by the embassy.

The German embassy expresses its concern over the violations identified in this particular case, stating 'violations of labour law will have appropriate consequences in Germany'.

The fourth group consisting of 24 Georgian citizens sent to Germany for seasonal employment have been complaining about the difficult working and living conditions for 39 days already and still have made no progress. They say they reported these problems to the Georgian ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs five weeks ago but have no response from them. 

Exactly 10 days have passed since we have not received a single call from the embassy [of Georgia to Germany]. We called and they told us they thought the problem was already solved", Jaba Chachanidze, one of the seasonal workers in Germany told the TV station First Channel.

The floor of the container where the 24 Georgian citizens are living shattered in several places due to dampness, mold and damping, and one of the employees kicked his leg. However, he has not received qualified medical care so far, reports First Channel on June 16 .

In addition to the bad living conditions the employer has also violated the contract signed with the seasonal workers. 

The fixed term employment contract for seasonal workers in the agriculture and forestry reads that the worker will be temporarily employed as the harvest helper for the maximum duration of three months (from May until July). The regulatory working time is 48 hours per week on six days for which the workers get the salary of €9.5 (hr). Failure to comply with this employment contract will result in a penalty of €500. 

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. 

The contract stated that the salary should have been €9.5 (hr) and instead we get €3", he said.

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.

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.