In this file:
· German abattoir restarting work after coronavirus shutdown
· Germany moves to 'clean up' meat industry after virus outbreaks
German abattoir restarting work after coronavirus shutdown
Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Angus MacSwan, Reuters
May 20, 2020
HAMBURG, May 20 (Reuters) - German abattoir and meat processor Westfleisch said on Wednesday it is resuming production at its plant in Coesfeld which was closed earlier in May after an outbreak of coronavirus.
Labour Minister Hubertus Heil also said on Wednesday that Germany will tighten up rules on abattoirs, banning the subcontracting of meatpacking workers through employment agencies after a rash of outbreaks.
The new rules were agreed after more than 600 coronavirus cases were reported among food and meatpacker workers.
German abattoirs and meatpackers make widespread use of east European workers, with allegations that cramped sleeping accommodation and slack anti-coronavirus precautions such as transporting workers in packed buses helped spread the disease in some companies.
Westfleisch said on Wednesday German authorities monitored a test slaughtering of 1,500 pigs at its abattoir in Coesfeld and approved its working processes and corona hygiene precautions.
The company will on Friday use about 30% of the normal slaughtering capacity...
Germany moves to 'clean up' meat industry after virus outbreaks
Concern mounts after several German slaughterhouses were hit with coronavirus outbreaks, prompting fresh scrutiny over hygiene and working conditions
via Rappler - May 20, 2020
BERLIN, Germany – The German government on Wednesday, May 20, banned the use of subcontractors in the meat industry after a string of coronavirus infections among mainly foreign slaughterhouse workers sparked alarm.
"It's time to clean up the sector," Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told reporters after Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet agreed on stricter regulations.
From January 1, 2021, abattoirs and meat processing plants will have to directly employ their workers, putting an end to the controversial practice of relying on chains of subcontractors to supply laborers from abroad, often from Bulgaria and Romania.
Critics have long argued that imported workers are paid less and are more vulnerable to abuses, and Heil himself has described the system as "dodgy."
Concern mounted after several German slaughterhouses were hit with coronavirus outbreaks, prompting fresh scrutiny over hygiene and working conditions.
At one slaughterhouse in the northwestern district of Coesfeld, more than 260 workers tested positive for the virus. Many come from eastern Europe and live in shared housing, a common practice among subcontracted workers.
Two other abattoirs, one in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and another...