INITIATIVES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE NEEDED IN GERMANY--and elsewhere--NOW
By Kevin Stoda, Germany
As the German national elections draw near at the end of September 2009, the leftist and more progressive groups in the country are drawing votes away from the major center party, the SPD (Socialist Party of Germany). The issue of "Lohndumping" and cries for social justice art at heart of the advance of the far left party, DIE LINKE (The Left).
The Left Party is currently expected to get 12% of the national vote on the final Sunday of September when all Germans can go to the Polls and elect their national representation. (They had only received 5 % of the vote four years ago.)
This success of the rising LEFT may appear to be a surprising situation for most other parts of the world to imagine because the German economy has been seen as the best in Europe for decades.
LOHNDUMPING & SUBCONTRACTING
"Lohndumping" is a German word that basically translates into English as "Dumping Salaries" or "Dumping Salary". But, what does "Dumping Salary" mean in English?
"Dumping Salary" means that the worker who earns such salaries in Germany is earning an unlivable wage. That is he or she is being dumped on by system that fails to even set a national minimum wage. This coming week the Wiesbaden study group "Arbeitskreis gegen Lohndumping und Leiharbeit" (the Workgroup against Dumping-Salaries and Sub-Contracted Employment) is focusing on this massive problem in Germany.
"Leiharbeit" or subcontracting in Germany in its various forms is often to be seen as part-time or transitional work. So, the government does not require the firms or individuals doing it to put the full amount of their earnings into the national social security and insurance system. However, many businesses rely on these types of employment annually and to too great a degree.