Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
You are here: Home / Pass A38 or One Who Went Out to Sue for Wages

Pass A38 or One Who Went Out to Sue for Wages

Published on Jan 06, 2021
The journey into the world of courts, jurisdictions, deadlines, forms and formalities can sometimes feel like a walkthrough of the "house that makes crazy". Having already reported on the practices of the Cuccis station bakery, we now turn to its orange counterpart Scoom.

It is already in the term: Whoever works for wages, works and receives wages. At least that's the theory. "A great concept," some would say. It's better than working without a salary. But that's exactly what happens more often than you might think.

In real life, there are a lot of exceptions; and some "exceptions" are simply based on impudence. Sometimes people just don't pay - and you just have to see what happens. In most cases - so the hope - nothing. The fear of being fired will take care of it. Hotspots for such "experiments" seem to be the fly-in lanes of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations: A few months ago, we already published an article about the station bakery chain Cuccis, which attracted attention from time to time due to this practice. Outraged, one or two angry readers may have looked around for an alternative. There was that other baker, that orange one - well.
Unfortunately, Scoom also tries to cheat people out of their wages. (And both Cuccis and Scoom belong to the snack empire of Nobert von Allvörden.)
 
If you don't get paid, of course you ask. Often you are then put off. The whole thing is repeated and drags on - until at some point there is not even a response to inquiries. If the employer can't sit out the problem, he*she may still be able to successfully ignore it.
In addition to inquiries, reminders and sheer eternal patience, the bruised worker can then - if nothing helps - take legal action. But there are also some obstacles that workers have to be able to jump over. If you only speak broken German, the hurdles are even higher. If you had to come up with the worst possible scenario, you could invent a company that predominantly hires people on the non-German side of the language barrier. After all, this reduces the likelihood that anyone will actually take on the hurdle race called wage collection. If you still want to take on this challenge as a worker, you need two things above all: staying power and support.

The journey into the world of courts, responsibilities, deadlines, forms and formalities can sometimes feel like a walkthrough through the "house that makes crazy people". In the famous sequence from "Asterix Conquers Rome", Asterix and Obelix are sent crisscrossing through an administrative building to get the A38 permit. Nobody feels responsible, in unnecessarily long ways it goes criss-cross from counter to counter through the building. At the end of each path there is a new one, which only leads back to where you came from. Again and again, you pass the gatekeeper who thinks you want to register a galley. That goes to the substance: Many who have tried it have fled into other states of consciousness. They live henceforth even as chicken or horse.

If one ventures into such a "house that makes mad people" in order to claim unpaid wages as a worker, the danger of losing one's overview or one's nerves is quite high: How do I fill out a reminder correctly? Where do I send it? What do I have to do if the notice is rejected when I send a new notice? What is an enforcement notice? Where do I mark what? What deadlines do I have to meet? Andandand. There are an astonishing number of pitfalls to consider, and while you're trying to wiggle past them, in Scoom's case, the cut-off deadline also comes along and turns out the lights. Indeed, some employment contracts state that wage claims expire after three months. It's worth taking a moment to think about what that might mean: A company hires mostly non-German-speaking people. If these people demand their wages, they are stalled - at best until the cut-off period has elapsed. And if some people manage to claim their wages before this deadline, there is a high probability that they will give up somewhere on their way to the labor court. And even if a whole dozen workers were to sue for their wages, the bottom line is that such a fraudulent practice would be worthwhile, as it would still save quite a bit in wage costs.

If the worker actually makes it and sits in the negotiation, he*she can also have to deal with a judge who is on a first-name basis with the employer's representative. This was the misfortune of the person concerned in the case known to us: the judge reported instead of judging. He reported, for example, that a station bakery chain like Scoom would normally always pay on time and that the complaint should be withdrawn. After all, the missing salary had already been transferred the day before the hearing - that is, with "only" a few months delay. In addition, the company was in trouble because of Corona, so they had to be understanding. It's a pity that Scoom stopped paying its workers even before the first Corona wave.
What do you do in such a case? You don't withdraw the lawsuit, but "agree" on a settlement. Then the other party has to pay the 7 Euro postage costs that were incurred. And the next time, you might just take the A39 pass as specified in the new circular B65. Because in the end, there are probably other roads that lead to Rome.

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.
union help desk: always on the 2. and 4. Friday of the month, 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
Please read first!
Tenant rights help desk: Cancelled until further notice.
Advice for worker and business collectives: See the advice page (german) of the union coop // federation.
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