Ver.di Head of Commerce urges participants to raise the volume on worker rights
Ver.di’s Head of Commerce, Stefanie Nutzenberger urged union leaders from the commerce sector to stand up for democracy and human rights in face of widespread union persecution.
The German services union, ver.di, which is hosting the UNI Commerce Global conference in Berlin, has taken a stand on Sunday working hours and stood up for German commerce workers across the board, including Amazon workers.
Nutzenberger did not downplay the size of the challenge with the owners of Lidl and Aldi both among the Top Ten Rich list in Germany, while their workers and those of many other retail companies are underpaid and existing on part-time ‘flexible’ hours that benefit the company at the expense of the worker. It was not right that commerce workers health and family life was suffering, she said.
Nutzenberger said there had to be a response from the union movement both in Germany and elsewhere, “We have learnt that our voice must be heard louder and louder – we must organise for our cause to increase its influence. And to make that possible we need courageous people in both the workplace and politics.”
Addressing the participants, Nutzenberger said, “You are fighting for fair pay, job security, and better working conditions, including health and safety, for every worker: men and women, old and young. We can only create this future through, organizing, collective bargaining and freedom of negotiation. These are the pillars our work is built on today and in the future.”
The ver.di Head of Commerce closed with her favourite quote, from the German poet, Bertolt Brecht, “He who fights may lose but he who does not fight has already lost.”