A good week of sweat, tears, cheers and frustration is drawing to a close. The last workers leave – whether to Romania or to new jobs. The promises made by the Romanian consulate to take care of job placement and homeward journeys were met only rudimentarily. The FAU, on the other hand, remained active and in solidarity, finding new jobs and travel opportunities together with numerous supporters and in constant consultation with the workers. We stay in touch to support the individual solutions.
On the one hand, there is now a long, intensive phase of legal processes surrounding wage claims. We are happy about the active support from our lawyers, who have already faced major challenges in the past few days and have been confronted with unforeseeable situations.
In addition, weeks and months of intensive reflexion and our own documentation are now pending.
We would like to thank our interpreters in particular, who have done an incredible job and enabled us to enter into a dialogue with the workers at any time.
And we thank everyone for the various forms of support, whether through FAU syndicates, through international networks or simply spontaneous solidarity; be it through sheer time that was invested, through the donation of water, with meals, pavilions, tables, office supplies, funds, good tips, contacts and so much more.
We are deeply moved by the solidarity and the impression that we have contributed in part to the fact that workers no longer feel helplessly exposed to their exploitation. Because we must not forget: the start of the harvest strike in Bornheim was independently made by the workers. They emancipated themselves and went on strike. Only because we took them seriously with their needs, tried to understand their interests and communicated them, could we go a common way.
To clarify our impression of this, we quote once again one of the workers shortly before their departure:
“We will miss you very much! Without you we would not have lasted so long. We will never forget a day and tell our children about it.”
We too, will never forget you and this time together. We hope to see you again on a more enjoyable occasion.
And we know that the struggle continues.