Black day for labour and housing rights in Germany
Date: 30 June, 2004
Source: Knut Unger, Witten Tenants Association, Habitat Net, Germany
Today the two houses of parliament in Germany (national and countries) had come to an agreement regarding the implementation of the so called Hartz IV reform of labour markets. The local authorities shall receive. 3,2 billion Euro/year for the housing costs of the unoccupied and there is a "revision" clause every. Nobody from us knows exactly what that means.
Over 5 million people in Germany are without job. This is a black day for the so called welfare state in Germany gasoline to the international neoliberal fire.
The main motive of this class struggle from the top is to reduce wages of all workers and costs for the poor and unoccupied. Last week the international Siemens company forced the metal workers union to agree to 5 hours more weekly work without wage, some social democrats are calling for 7 hours more in public services. There is no minimum wage regulations in Germany, wages for bad jobs meanwhile are half of the money than 10 years before, and all at "slave traders". Trade Unions are loosing all powers, the consequent parts get in principal opposition to the government and are trying to build new coalitions. The Social Democracy in Germany is dead. They will loose all elections.
We are trying to establish new contacts to trade unions and associations of the poor. The struggle at the basis of the new conditions begins now.
Our specific concern is the possible cut of housing cost subventions of millions of families. It now is the responsibility of the bankrupt local authorities. We are planning parallel local campaigns against the reduce of the housing costs and call for a regulations which ensure security of tenure and access to housing without discrimination and segregation. But this is only a brick in the general struggle is to fight them back.
The German constitution does not include the right to housing or work, but judges during the past days claimed that this law might violate the constitutional rights.
Maybe some of you find fun expressing concerns about the human and social rights process in "human rights promoting" Germany. If you want to write protest notes or letters of concern you might use the below addresses, with copies to me. To some of you it anyway might be useful to have some of these addresses for other cases.
Gerhard Schrder firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Chancellery, Willy-Brandt Str. 1, 10557 Berlin, Fax: (0049) 30/4000-1818, -1819
email@example.com OR InternetPost@bundesregierung.de
Mainly responsible Federal Minister
Wolfgang Clement, Bundesministerium fr Wirtschaft und Arbeit, Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, Scharnhorststrae 34-37, D-10109 Berlin, Fax: (01888) 615 – 70 10