German meat industry companies raided by police
40 meat-producing companies and subcontractors in Germany were raided by 800 police officers this week, as the authorities are looking for illegal workers brought in the country by subcontractors, announced Deutsche Welle. The investigation is focused on two companies, IRC and Berkana, which are suspected of illegally bringing workers from eastern Europe to Germany to place them in meatpacking jobs, according to German Police sources.
"Ten people in total working for the two companies are accused of falsifying EU travel documents for citizens of non-EU countries like Belarus and Ukraine and organizing their travel into Germany", said a police spokesman.
Police said they had documented a recent increase in people stopped at Germany's borders traveling on false documents. The raids are primarily being carried out in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt. Further searches are being conducted in Lower Saxony in Berlin, Saxony and North-Rhine Westphalia.
In June, the largest slaughterhouse owned by Tonnies turned into the largest cluster in the EU of COVID-19, with almost 1,500 workers infected. Other plants have been hit also and a bill that would ban the use of subcontractors in Germany's meat industry and require companies to hire workers directly has been adopted in July. It is expected to come into force in January 2021.
The bill stipulates that when any meat-processing company has 50 or more workers, only those employed directly may slaughter and process animals.