A group of Romanians recently returned from their seasonal jobs in Germany accuse the mistreatment and underpayment of approximately 40 Romanians. The German strawberry plantation owner denies the accusations.

According to Romanian seasonal worker Tinca Viorel, the situation from the Matthias Rapp, Bauern Lädle GbR strawberry plantation from Bruchsal-Untergrombach required the police intervention. The Romanians accuse their boss of unfair treatment.

The workers, men and women, were lodged in mixed caravans. The money Tinca spent for travelling and paying the contractor’s commission is more that he has earned while working on the plantation. The employer did not have a Romanian translator and many workers couldn’t understand all instructions. Tinca also accuses the plantation owner to have had her dog attacking one of the workers. Apparently, the workers had to walk yesterday 15 kilometres to the plantation. Yesterday, the local Police was called because the situation was getting out of control.

The owner’s wife Gisela Rapp says the contract signed with the workers has been respected. According to her, the Romanian workers were there one week before the agreed term. She says the Romanian started fighting after three of work, and they weren’t keen to work anymore. The contract sees 800 euros penalty in case the conditions are not met. She denies, though, throwing her dog on a worker.

The conflict has caught the attention of Romania’s Embassy from Berlin and Romanian Honorific consulate in Stuttgart. This is the second case in May when the German employers are being charged with mistreatment by Romanian workers. The beginning of the month saw a group of 400 Romanian seasonal workers making similar accusations.