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We were promised between €8 and €9

In autumn 2014, the German capital opened, with great pomp, the “Mall of Berlin”, a giant new shopping centre right in the heart of the city, just a stone’s throw away from the Brandenburg Gate. A few weeks later, the scandal broke out: around thirty Romanians who had worked on the mall’s construction were still owed several months’ wages. Ovidiu is one of them. He has been living in Berlin for a number of years. In summer 2014, one of the site managers persuaded him to go and work on the construction of the future shopping mall. “We were promised between €8 and €9 an hour. We were, in fact, paid €6 an hour,” explains Ovidiu. This is far below the hourly minimum wage of €10.75 applicable in Germany’s building and public works sector. The workers, moreover, were never given a contract, despite their repeated demands. “We worked for two months like that, being paid every two weeks. But then the payments stopped.”

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers

Rue de l’hôpital 31
boîte 1 (12e étage)
1000 Bruxelles

0032 (0)2 227 10 40

0032 (0)2 219 82 28

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