Saturday

18th Nov 2017

German 'job dumping' project to spread

German trade unions are investigating the legal possibilities of fighting against internet companies that make the unemployed compete for jobs, while the most succesful website is set to be launched in three other languages as an international platform.

The trend of "job-dumping" has been introduced by several companies as a result of Germany's increasing unemployment. According to the most recent figures, more than 5.2 million Germans are out of work.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The idea is to provide an online job auction for both businesses and freelance workers.

While employers introduce a "starting salary" they are willing to pay for a particular post, job-seekers can apply for the positions on offer.

If several people are interested and some of them are ready to take the job for less money, the salary starts falling.

These websites, such as Jobdumping.de, offer their readers a list of jobs - from office work or temporary jobs in restaurants and cafes to construction or technician positions.

The job-seeking users of the website can then see how long the various work ads have been displayed and by how much the original salary offer has dropped.

Fabian Löw, the founder of jobdumping.de, argues that the model is successful because "everybody can decide when, where and for how much they are willing to work".

Job or security?

However, trade unions are warning their members "not to take part in this system, as it does not provide any security for them", said Helmar Höhn, from the German Confederation of Trade Unions.

According to Mr Höhn, the union experts in Berlin have launched a legal proceeding to find out whether the job-dumping as advertised by the online companies is compatible with German labour laws.

"The problem is that the offers displayed on such websites are for freelance workers who are ready to do anything, and prefer flexibility over security".

There is no minimum wage in Germany, but salaries for different sectors and types of jobs are included in collective agreements and workers can take their employers to the courts if they are paid less than 70 per cent of wages set by these agreements.

The collective agreements also include a set of other measures, like social security provisions.

Some analysts argue that the lack of flexibility in such a labour law system plays a role in Germany's unemployment.

However, Mr Höhn argues that the social dumping as presented by the online job auctions will not help.

"There is a wide range in our collective agreements in terms of workers' pay. But some companies still insist that wages must fall if we want to fight unemployment.

If that was the case, then East Germany would be a paradise for jobs, as people are paid the least there. But the opposite is true: we have the lowest salaries in the regions with the highest unemployment - reaching 20 to 25 percent, as opposed to 7 to 8 percent in West Germany where the salaries are higher".

Moving on to the worldwide arena

This August, Fabian Löw is planning to introduce three other versions of the website in English, French and Spanish.

As the German project proved so successful, with 20,000 contracts with companies or self-employers since its launch in November last year, and 30,000 visits to the website a day, he believes the model will also work on an international basis.

"We have been contacted by companies from France, Britain, Malaysia, The US or Canada and we would like to provide a basis for people seeking or offering jobs worldwide".

As a result of the negative connotation of the "job-dumping" name, the website is set to be called "wage-auction" later on.

"In Germany, job-dumping has been particuarly politically sensitive. It is clear that Germans have been working much less for much higher salaries than people in other countries and their social security system is far too expensive.

Our idea is that if we all got a bit less, our products would be sold cheaper, and that would help our inner economy", Mr Löw told the EUobserver.

EU posted workers face hurdles

Negotiations among the EU institutions will start soon, but could be difficult on several issues - like the inclusion of the transport sector or the duration of a posting.

EU overcomes divisions on posted workers

After a 12-hour discussion, EU employment ministers struck a compromise to reform the rules on workers posted in another country. The principle of equal pay for equal work has been adopted but the transport sector will get special treatment.

Investigation

How Romania became an EU workers' rights 'guinea pig'

"We are paid as if we were a country of unqualified workers". Union leaders and labour rights experts reveal, in figures, the catastrophic consequences of the laws that have turned Romania into the country of the working poor.

Opinion

Mind the gap: inequality in our cities

Minimum wages, 'living' wages and a universal basic income are all part of the ongoing mix to find ways to reduce social inequality across the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse