In Brief: New campaign #Fairdient aims to put a stop to unpaid overtime in Germany

A new analysis shows Berlin workers handed over nearly 786 million euros worth of unpaid overtime to employers. A new campaign #Fairdient wants to put a stop to unpaid overtime in Germany and prevent an increase in the legal maximum daily working hours. Find out more in your KCRW Berlin News Brief.




According to Berlin’s Food, Beverage and Catering Union NGG, unpaid overtime is fairly common among Berlin workers. On average, Berlin employees worked more than 31 million unpaid hours of overtime. That’s according to a 2017 microcensus by Germany’s employment agency and monitoring commissioned by the union.

The details were presented in Berlin on Thursday with the launch of a new campaign, #fairdient, or fair earnings. That’s F-A-I-R, a play on the German word “verdient” meaning “earn.”

A spokesperson for the union, Jonas Bohl says the campaign is in response to political pressure from the hospitality industry to raise the legal working hours from 10 per day to 13. He says documentation of overtime is an employee’s best resource.

“It’s really essential to write down the exact working hours for every day and that the workers ask a colleague to sign this document, so afterwards with this document it would be possible to go to the union, or to a lawyer, and then to go to court if necessary.”

The unpaid hours represent nearly 786 million euros essentially donated to Berlin employers. The union said hospitality workers are particularly affected, with workers in the industry accounting for nearly half of all unpaid overtime across Germany.


By Thursday evening, the warning level for forest fires across most of Brandenburg had raised from level three to level four. That’s the second highest level. Authorities say dry conditions are to blame.

As of Friday morning, several areas including Elbe-Elste, Havelland, Märkisch-Oderland, and Oberspreewald-Lausitz were still at level 4. The other regions returned to level three.


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