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Article

11 Oct 2021

Author:
Jaba Chachanidze,
Author:
Tata Shoshiashvili,
Author:
OC Media

Germany: Georgian migrant worker raises alarms about poor working conditions and housing, says he was paid less than 10% of the money he was promised

Voice: ‘They did nothing to help, they abandoned us’, 8 October 2021

Thirty-year-old veteran Jaba Chachanidze joined a temporary farm worker program jointly organised by the German and Georgian governments. When he arrived, he found nothing but backbreaking labour, squalor, and returned with less than 10% of the money he was promised...

At first I went to strawberry plantations near Stuttgart. I was shocked after I realized what’s happening — the living and working conditions were absolutely different from what Georgia promised us.

When I arrived, my employer said that I had to earn a salary at a completely different rate and all of us were charged additional taxes...

Added to that I had to pay €150 for “housing” per month, when in fact it consisted of two interconnected containers in which 24 of us, workers from Georgia, lived...

I immediately took a video of our living conditions and sent it to the Employment Agency of Georgia and the Embassy of Georgia. They asked me for a detailed letter and to send photos. After that there was no response.

When I was working at the first farm and contacted journalists, my employer told me, “You will be fired if you continue to spread false information”...

A month and a week after arriving in Stuttgart I made about €300 but in the end, my employer gave me only €100. He said that we had to pay him for everything: for dinner, which he gave us once a day; for living in his containers, which he called a ‘house’; after we came to Germany we would ride a bus to the farm, so each of us had to pay €35 for it. So instead of the promised €1300, I earned €100...