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[Mall of Shame] Now is Pay Day also for Metatec!

Published on Oct 30, 2015 Tags: ,
Last Wednesday, October 28, three lawsuits against the subcontractor Metatec-Fundus GmbH & Co. KG were treated in court; they’ve been filed by three former Mall construction workers organized in FAU Berlin. It was about wages of almost 1,900 Euros each that the subcontractor needs to pay now. The court quickly concluded that a work relationship between the workers and Metatec had existed.

Metatec’s manager Hans-Hubert Jansen and its procurator Muhammet Tasci showed up in court without their lawyer. In the past year, three different lawyers have resigned from their mandate for this dubious company.

A Clear Case

The judge rapidly retold the facts: From end of September until mid-October, three workers were employed by Metatec and worked with plasterboards. In November 2014, after protests, the cheated workers had organised themselves, Metatec paid each of them 600 Euros and wanted them to sign papers promising they would seek no further claims against the company. According to the Minimum Wage Act (§ 3), though, such waivers are illegal. “A work relation must be assumed,” the judge stated. 

By Most Pure Humanism?

In court, Mr. Jansen and Mr. Tasci did not admit they’d offered 600 Euros to the purportedly completely unknown men, with whom they’ve never had a work relation; instead, Tasci and Jansen claimed that the men were homeless and wanted to go back home, and they had merely given a philanthropic-humanist “donation” of a modest 1,800 Euros to each man.

This argument didn’t convince the judge, so in all three cases the ruling was: Metatec has to pay the wages. Though, if Metatec is able to pay, that’s another question. Perhaps the lawyers, one after another, resigned because they weren’t paid as well, like the Mall workers. Business is not going well. It’s not paying to not pay your workers – it pays even less to underestimate a fighting union where cheated workers may organise. If there’s nothing to get at Metatec ,and if the general contractor FCL is bankrupt, the next responsible actor for unpaid wages is: the investor, Harald Huth’s HGHI. The most recent court ruling only underlines, once more, the manifest scandal of exploitation at the Mall of Berlin before the very eyes of FCL and HGHI.

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