In this file:

 

·         1,500 workers test positive for coronavirus at German meat factory

·         German region in lockdown after new outbreak

·         Covid-19: German meatpackers improve hiring procedures

 

 

1,500 workers test positive for coronavirus at German meat factory

 

By Brinkwire

June 23, 2020

 

Germany has today ordered 640,000 people back into lockdown after a coronavirus outbreak at a meat factory caused a spike in the R rate – dealing a major setback to a country widely praised for its handling of the pandemic.

 

More than 1,500 people have tested positive at the Toennies slaughterhouse in the last week and the districts of Guetersloh and Warendorf have now become the first in Germany to enter a second lockdown. 

 

Bars, gyms and cinemas will all have to shut their doors again while picnics and barbecues will be banned, schools are already closed and the 10-person limit on public gatherings has been slashed to two. 

 

The spike in cases has punctured optimism that Germany had successfully weathered the pandemic, after it was praised for keeping its death toll far lower than that in Britain, Spain, Italy or France.  

 

Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, said the affected areas would return ‘to the measures that applied several weeks ago’ – turning back the clock to before Germany started easing the lockdown.

 

The meat factory is in Guetersloh but neighbouring Warendorf has also triggered an ’emergency brake’ after the number of cases rose above 50 per 100,000 in a seven-day period, under a threshold agreed by Angela Merkel.

 

Laschet also urged people to avoid travelling away during the week-long lockdown – although this will not be enforced – and holiday resorts elsewhere in Germany have already started turning away visitors from the area.   

 

Health authorities had already quarantined all 6,500 workers at the Toennies plant and carried out tests on the entire workforce, with screening now set to be expanded to the whole area.

 

The plant’s billionaire owner Clemens Toennies, nicknamed the ‘Pig Baron’, has apologised for the outbreak amid claims that the crowded accommodation where many Eastern European migrant workers live may have contributed to the spread of the virus. 

 

The Toennies cluster is...

 

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https://en.brinkwire.com/news/1500-workers-test-positive-for-coronavirus-at-german-meat-factory/

 

 

German region in lockdown after new outbreak

The new lockdowns in Guetersloh and neighbouring Warendorf in western Germany came after a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse that has infected more than 1,500 workers.

 

TRT World (Turkey)

Jun 24, 2020

 

German authorities on Tuesday ordered fresh coronavirus lockdowns in two districts – the first since easing restrictions and a major setback for hopes of a swift return to normality.

 

The new lockdowns in Guetersloh and neighbouring Warendorf in western Germany came after a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse that has infected more than 1,500 workers.

 

"For the first time in Germany, we will return an entire district to the measures that applied several weeks ago," said Armin Laschet, state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, announcing the measures for Guetersloh.

 

That lockdown, set to affect 360,000 people, will stay in place until at least June 30, Laschet said.

 

North Rhine-Westphalia health minister Karl-Josef Laumann later ordered similar measures for Warendorf, covering a further 278,000 residents.

 

'Emergency brake'

 

The outbreak at a slaughterhouse run by the Toennies meat company that employs 7,000 people in Germany's most populous state is the biggest since the country began lifting virus lockdown measures in early May.

 

Toennies, a family-owned company, has been criticised for using subcontractors for parts of its operation. The practice, which is common in the German meat industry and which the government now wants to ban, often results in migrant workers living in cramped communal housing and being transported to abattoirs in minibuses, heightening the risk of infection.

 

A video circulating on social media also showed workers...

 

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https://www.trtworld.com/europe/german-region-in-lockdown-after-new-outbreak-37537

 

 

Covid-19: German meatpackers improve hiring procedures

Two large German slaughterhouses, Westfleisch and Tönnies, will stop using a business model based on hiring staff through agencies. The Covid-19 outbreaks have accelerated these changes.

 

Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress

Jun 24, 2020  

 

Westfleisch will change its working method per the end of the year and all employees will be hired by the company itself. The company announced this on Tuesday, June 23. So did Tönnies, the company that was hit hard last week by an outbreak of Covid-19 at Germany’s largest pig slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück.

 

External employees at the slaughterline

 

In practice, hiring staff through agencies comes down to hiring external employees, mostly from Eastern Europe, for the work at the slaughterline. The system got heavily criticised during the Covid-19 outbreaks this month, as the relatively poor housing of these employees might have been accelerating the infection rate among these workers.

 

Tönnies stated that in this context it will work on improvement of foreign workers’ housing conditions. Westfleisch has introduced a 10-step plan to address labour and housing conditions.

 

With their announcements, the companies are ahead of the federal government in Berlin – which aims to ban this business model using agencies.

 

German regions in lockdown ...

 

No state support for Tönnies ...

 

Deepest crisis in Tönnies’ 50-year history ...

 

Netherlands: reduction of slaughter speed ...

 

Poultry plants infected with Covid-19 ...

 

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https://www.pigprogress.net/Finishers/Articles/2020/6/Covid-19-German-meatpackers-improve-hiring-procedures-603063E/