Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
You are here: Home / Struggles / Mall of Shame

Mall of Shame

A conflict concerning outstanding wages for construction workers of the "Mall of Berlin".

Deutsch | English | Română | Castellano | Svenska | Français | Ελληνικά

 

Mall of Shame - built on exploitation

For the construction of the shopping and residential complex “Mall of Berlin”, which had its grand opening in the autumn of 2014, in spite of unfinished building sites and faulty fire safety, various subcontracting companies let hundreds of migrant workers from Romania toil for ten hours a day for five or six euros an hour, according to workers from this construction site. In the end, not even this illegally low wage was paid to the employees in full.

One of the construction workers explains: “We were not only denied our wages: we were threatened on multiple occasions, including threats of violence, and our lack of German-language skills was exploited by our employers. We were denied written employment contracts and were provided with completely inadequate and exorbitantly priced sleeping quarters, or no accommodation at all.” At many construction sites in Germany, such shocking exploitation and degrading treatment seems to be business as usual. What’s new is that now the cheated workers are fighting back! A group of these workers have gotten organized in the FAU Berlin, to fight for the wages they are owed.

Another colleague says: ”I had two goals when we started the protests: Firstly, I wanted to fight for our dignity, secondly, I wanted to fight for our money.” He pauses. ”The first, we’ve already achieved.” With daily rallies and a vocal demonstration before Christmas 2014, the base union FAU made the ”Mall of Shame” into a symbol for the exploitation of migrant workers from EU countries, and, as the newspaper Märkische Allgemeine writes at the end of January, ”a subject of the news commentary of all Berlin media”.

The construction of the ”Mall of Berlin” cost about one billion Euros, according to the Berlin-Brandenburg broadcasting network rbb. It was commissioned by HGHI Leipziger Platz GmbH, and the completion was done by the consortium ”Arbeitsgemeinschaft Leipziger Platz No. 12” under the management of Fettchenhauer Controlling und Logistic GmbH, which has since declared bankruptcy. Directly responsible for the wage sham are the subcontractors Metatec-Fundus GmbH & Co. KG from Berlin-Kreuzberg, and openmallmaster GmbH from Frankfurt am Main, but the main responsibility for the conditions at the construction site lies with the consortium and finally with the commissioner.

This responsibility is not only a moral responsibility, but a responsibility dictated by law. ”A contractor who commissions work or services from another contractor, is liable for the obligations of this contractor ... for the payment of the minimum wage to employees ... as a bondsman.”

In 2015 and 2016 most of the lawsuits against the subcontractors were successful, but - as was to be expected - the questionable subcontractors declared bankruptcy or went underground. Now in 2017, the Romanian construction workers, with support of FAU Berlin, have proceeded to file lawsuits against the responsible commissioner, Harald Huth’s Leipziger Platz GmbH & Co. KG.

FAU Berlin will continue the fight, and the Romanian workers who organized themselves in FAU Berlin are willing to go through all court instances if necessary, to set a precedent that will be beneficial for other workers. We keep up our challenge against shameless exploitation and those who profit from it.

If you want to support the costly legal procedures, please donate: Donation info.

Latest News

Bundesarbeitsgericht: Lohnraub weiterhin ohne Folgen für den Investor der Mall of Shame

(Oct 25, 2019)
Bundesarbeitsgericht: Lohnraub weiterhin ohne Folgen für den Investor der Mall of Shame

In der Klage zweier Bauarbeiter gegen die HGHI Leipziger Platz GmbH & Co. KG ist am 16.10.2019 das Urteil des Bundesarbeitsgerichts (BAG) gefallen. Es… » Read on

Read More…

Betrug am Bau

(Oct 23, 2019)
Betrug am Bau

Wie Beschäftigte geprellt und Sozialbeiträge umgangen werden.… » Read on

Read More…

Sklaverei im Herzen Berlins

(Oct 23, 2019)
Sklaverei im Herzen Berlins

Kommentar zum Urteil des Bundesarbeitsgerichts… » Read on

Read More…

Keine rechtliche Schranke gegen Lohnraub

(Oct 23, 2019)
Keine rechtliche Schranke gegen Lohnraub

Bericht zum Urteil mit Auszügen aus der Pressemitteilung des Bundesarbeitsgerichts… » Read on

Read More…

Ein Investor haftet nicht

(Oct 23, 2019)
Ein Investor haftet nicht

Bundesarbeitsgericht weist Lohnklage rumänischer Bauarbeiter ab.… » Read on

Read More…

German Federal Labour Court rules on Mall of Shame

(Oct 16, 2019)

On Wednesday, October 19, 2019, the German Federal Labour Court ruled on a two construction workers' law-suit against HGHI Leipziger Platz GmbH & Co. KG.… » Read on

Read More…

Mall of Berlin: Lohnklagen nach fünf Jahren vor dem Bundesarbeitsgericht

(Oct 10, 2019)
Mall of Berlin: Lohnklagen nach fünf Jahren vor dem Bundesarbeitsgericht

Am Mittwoch den 16. Oktober werden die Klagen von zwei Bauarbeitern gegen das Unternehmen HGHI Leipziger Platz GmbH & Co. KG vor dem Bundesarbeitsgericht… » Read on

Read More…

Analysing Mall of Shame and sharing experiences about struggles

(When:: Oct 12, 2019 07:00 PMWhere: Ort: Gewerkschaftslokal…)

Event on Saturday 12 October 7 pm. Analysing Mall of Shame and sharing experiences about struggles against exploitation in precarious working and living… » Read on

Read More…

The fight of the construction workers of the Mall of Berlin legally comes to the last instance

(Jan 24, 2019)
The fight of the construction workers of the Mall of Berlin legally comes to the last instance

Mit dem Gang zum Bundesarbeitsgericht geht der Kampf um ausstehenden Lohn eines Bauarbeiters der Mall Of Berlin in die letzte Instanz.… » Read on

Read More…

MallofShame: weitere Klage vom Arbeitsgerichts Berlin abgewiesen - Bundesarbeitsgericht wird abschließend klären

(May 07, 2018)

Im Zusammenhang mit der Mall of Shame wurde am 3. Mai 2018 die Klage eines weiteren Bauarbeiter gegen die HGHI Leipziger Platz GmbH & Co KG am Berliner… » Read on

Read More…

Bauarbeiter »abgezockt«

(May 03, 2018)
Bauarbeiter »abgezockt«

Bericht über den Prozess von Bauarbeiter*innen der Mall Of Berlin… » Read on

Read More…

Mall-of-Shame Gerichtstermin

(When:: May 03, 2018 09:00 AMWhere: Arbeitsgericht…)

Berufungsverfahren im Mall-of-Shame Prozess auf Bürgenhaftung der Bauherrin HGHI… » Read on

Read More…

Mall ohne Moral

(Feb 09, 2018)
Mall ohne Moral

Der Artikel im Neuen Deutschland reflektiert die Entscheidung des Landesgerichts, die Berufungsklage eines Arbeiters der Mall of Shame abzuweisen, obwohl… » Read on

Read More…

Ein Investor ist kein Häuslebauer

(Feb 09, 2018)
Ein Investor ist kein Häuslebauer

Johanna Treblin berichtet im Neuen Deutschland über eine äußerst kurze Verhandlung im Fall Mall of Shame. Der Investor versucht sich hinter einem Gesetz… » Read on

Read More…

Moral kann man nicht fressen – Runde drei für die Mall of Shame?

(Jan 29, 2018)
Moral kann man nicht fressen – Runde drei für die Mall of Shame?

Am vergangenen Donnerstag wurde die Berufungsklage eines Bauarbeiters der Mall of Shame gegen die Bauherrin HGHI vor dem Landesarbeitgericht abgewiesen,… » Read on

Read More…

Akteure im Fall Mall of Shame

Akteure  im Fall Mall of Shame

Stronger together

Click here to get to the FAU Berlin's English membership formThe FAU Berlin is an independent grassroots union. It is part of the German Free Workers' Union (FAU) federation. Join us, take part, get active.

#coronafaq

COVID-19 FAQ

Intro and advice
Introductory seminar: FAU – How does it work? - Cancelled until further notice.
Open FAU office: Cancelled until further notice.
Labour rights help desk: always on the 2. and 4. Friday of the month, 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
Please pre-register: faub-beratung@fau.org.
Tenant rights help desk: Cancelled until further notice.
Advice for worker and business collectives: See the advice page (german) of the union coop // federation.
Mall of Shame

Banner Mall of Shame

Petition: change.org
Alle Meldungen: berlin.fau.org/mall

Follow us on...
Donations welcome

Name: Allgemeines Syndikat Berlin
IBAN: DE45 1605 0000 3703 0017 11
BIC: WELA DE D1 PMB
Reason for payment: Donation