Foto­credit: Soheil Hon­ar­mand

Working in Frankfurt

People who migrate to Ger­many face various forms of explo­ita­tion and discri­mi­na­tion in the labour mar­ket, espe­cially in the low-wage sec­tor. These can be exa­cer­ba­ted by their resi­dence sta­tus. In the fol­lowing audio, Mariam Ema­nuel reports on her expe­ri­en­ces with the prio­rity check or »labor-mar­ket test« (Vor­rang­prü­fung) that app­lied in her case when she came to Germany:

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The prio­rity check/­la­bor-mar­ket test initi­ally links resi­dence sta­tus tospe­ci­fic employ­ment con­tract. (For more infor­ma­tion, see the sta­tion on the aut­ho­rity for for­eig­ners). In the fol­lowing audio Mariam Ema­nuel exp­lains which con­se­quen­ces these regu­la­ti­ons had on her ever­y­day working expe­ri­ence: 

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Stella also had to go through this pro­ce­dure to getresi­dence per­mit in Ger­many. In the fol­lowing video, she talks about her expe­ri­en­ces with the resi­dence regu­la­ti­ons and how they have affec­ted her ever­y­day work: 

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After one year, Stella is allo­wed to change her employer. Howe­ver, she still expe­ri­en­ces explo­ita­tion, discri­mi­na­tion and arbi­tra­r­i­ness at the hands of their employ­ers. 

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Many people who have to live and work under such con­di­ti­ons resist them and join for­ces with other people. Pro­ject Shel­ter Frank­furt is an initia­tive in which people orga­nise tog­e­ther against these con­di­ti­ons. For more infor­ma­tion, see the sta­tion on the Para­dies­hof. 

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The com­pul­sion to work pre­ca­riously

People who migrate to Ger­many and/or are racia­li­zed ⊕ are often for­ced to take pre­ca­rious jobs and to demand their labour rights again and again. At the same time, they are under grea­ter pres­sure to con­form to society’s ideal of per­for­mance, as their life in Ger­many is not taken for gran­ted. This mani­fests its­elf, for example, in the fact that they are repeatedly pres­su­red to exp­lain and jus­tify their »being here« and their family history at work, at school or in ever­y­day situa­tions. Moreo­ver, resi­dence per­mits are often lin­ked to a spe­ci­fic employ­ment rela­ti­ons­hip and already exis­ting degrees or know­ledge are not reco­gnised. Various eco­no­mic, racist and/or sexist struc­tures thus impede indi­vi­dual efforts to build a bet­ter life or make it unat­tainable because access to edu­ca­tion or lan­guage acqui­si­tion is dif­fi­cult. You can find more on this in our sta­tion to the aut­ho­rity for for­eig­ners.

Espe­cially in the low-wage sec­tor in the hotel and cate­ring indus­try or care work, the workload often exceeds phy­si­cal and psy­cho­lo­gi­cal limits. Often, app­li­ca­ble labour laws are not respec­ted and the wage is often barely enough to make ends meet. Many people do not want to work under these con­di­ti­ons — at the same time, many workers are wan­ted in these sec­tors. The labor-mar­ket test is thus a state tool to force people into these jobs and to limit their room for mano­eu­vre.

Cri­ses and grey areas 

In the wake of cri­ses, such as the glo­bal eco­no­mic cri­sis of 2008 or as a result of the Covid-19 pan­de­mic, it can be obser­ved once again that wage employ­ment rela­ti­ons­hips in the above-men­tio­ned sec­tors are often very pre­ca­rious and people in these sec­tors often lose their jobs first. Even more pre­ca­rious are those who live and work in ille­ga­li­sed or infor­mal employ­ment due to their legally assi­gned sta­tus. Here, the bounda­ries bet­ween legal and ille­ga­li­sed ⊕ employ­ment are often blur­red and people are stuck in grey areas. For example, some com­pa­nies exploit people in an undo­cu­men­ted employ­ment rela­ti­ons­hip while the prio­rity check of the employ­ment con­tract by the aut­ho­ri­ties is ongo­ing. This can fur­ther under­mine already low stan­dards of working con­di­ti­ons or pay.

Actively oppo­sing these con­di­ti­ons 

Many people do not accept this situa­tion and become active and defend them­sel­ves: they form net­works in which they exchange infor­ma­tion about employ­ers, think about stra­te­gies against bad employ­ers and tell each other about new jobs. Pro­ject Shel­ter also offers such a net­work. While the group fights forself-mana­ged migrant centre (this fight is descri­bed in the sta­tion Para­dies­hof), the acti­vists also empower them­sel­ves in work­shops on union orga­ni­sing and labour law, or sup­port each other in (legal) dis­pu­tes with employ­ers and exchange infor­ma­tion about them

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The Sta­ti­ons

The Klap­per­feld

Depor­ta­tion pri­sons and the resis­tance against them

 

The aut­ho­rity for foreigners

The dif­fi­cult way to both a resi­dence and working permit

 

Working in Frankfurt

The fight for workers’ rights

 

The Main-Rail­way-Sta­tion

Racial Pro­filing as a con­stant threat

 

The Para­dies­hof

The fight for a self­or­ga­nised migrant center

 

The attack in Hanau

Against racist ter­ror and oblivion

 

The Bahn­hofs­vier­tel

Important hub for migrant life

 

Mix­tape Migra­tion is finan­ced by your donations

The tour is free for ever­yone and is acces­si­ble to as many people as pos­si­ble. At the same time, we are depen­dent on dona­ti­ons and sup­port — we want to make the tour bet­ter known and, in a second step, expand it to include addi­tio­nal topics and stations.

The pro­ject is desi­gned, orga­ni­zed and car­ried out by the non-pro­fit asso­cia­tion turn the cor­ner. turn the cor­ner is com­mit­ted to a society in which we tog­e­ther and con­sciously shape how we want to live and work inde­pendently. A society in which people can be dif­fe­rent without coer­cion. Learn more about turn the corner.