Commentary: COVID-19 corporate cost-cutting in Europe allegedly targets workers with less bargaining power even as firms seek government help

Autor/in: Jack Ewing and Geneva Abdul, New York Times, Veröffentlicht am: 4 May 2020

"Europe’s Strong Labor Laws Aren’t a Guarantee for Lower-Wage Workers", 29 April 2020

Lufthansa is an example of how corporate cost-cutting in Europe is falling hardest on people at the low end of the pay scale, despite strong unions and strict labor laws...

Lufthansa’s agreements with workers are intended “to keep as many employees on board as possible,” Jörg Waber, a Lufthansa spokesman, said in an emailed statement...

At some companies, cost-cutting means targeting the workers who can be fired with the least fuss...

WrenKitchens ... fired hundreds of employees in March, including many trainees and recent hires, saying their performance was not up to par. Had WrenKitchens furloughed the workers instead of firing them, the British government would have covered 80 percent of their pay...

WrenKitchens did not respond to requests for comment.

There are increasing reports that some employers are abusing subsidized furlough programs...

[S]ome French employees say they are being required to report to work even though their employer is collecting the subsidy...

Freelancers and temp workers are particularly vulnerable when companies go looking for places to save...

In Germany, supermarkets have hired temporary security guards to limit the number of shoppers who are inside at any given time, in line with lockdown requirements. The Ver.di union has complained that these workers are being underpaid in violation of wage agreements...

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Betreffende Unternehmen: Lufthansa Wren Kitchens