Photo: Edwin Atema / Twitter

Agmaz drivers’ strike victorious; trade unionist says the truckers were “treated like animals”

The highly-reported stand-off between Agmaz and a group of its lorry drivers has finally come to a conclusion following a strike that lasted several weeks.

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According to the DGB Union, who are among those assisting the drivers on strike, an agreement was reached on Wednesday between the truck drivers and their employer. All drivers have received the requested money that they were owed.

Commenting on the agreement, Edwin Atema of the Dutch FNV Union said that the Agmaz drivers had been “treated like animals”.

Writing on Twitter, Stefan Körzell of the DGB Union called Agmaz boss Łukasz Mazur a “criminal employer that needs to be taken out of circulation”.

In a statement on the DGB website, Körzell also called for Agmaz’s transport licence to be revoked.

Looking forward, Körzell added:

“We need stronger and stricter controls by the responsible authorities, by the financial control of illegal work (FKS) and the Federal Office for Logistics and Mobility (BALM) as soon as possible in order to enforce minimum wage claims across national borders. We demand more transparency in  supply chains – and electronic shipping documents to track logistics chains. General contractor liability in the Minimum Wage Act is strong. We also need strong liability for all offenses against the Supply Chain Act. The clients are also responsible. They need to be held accountable for subcontractor failures.”

In addition to the 60 drivers receiving their wages, it was agreed that no legal action would be taken against the truckers.

Meanwhile, in another development that occurred on the evening before the agreement was reached, an Amgaz truck caught fire on the A7 motorway near Fulda-Nord junction.

In a report published on the same evening, Gazeta Wyborcza wrote that it had received images from Amgaz of the truck that had caught fire. Wyborcza also stated that Amgaz had implied the striking truckers may have had something to do with the blaze.

However, reports of the incident from the German police suggest no such thing.

A press release issued by East Hesse Police Headquarters even praised the Amgaz drivers for putting out the fire.

“Until the arrival of the fire brigade, the truck driver and his co-driver, who were able to leave the truck uninjured, tried to extinguish the fire by their own means. Other truck drivers also used fire extinguishers and water to try to prevent the fire from spreading to the semi-trailer, which was loaded with wood and plastic,” says a fragment of the aforementioned press release.

The press release added that the damage from the fire was minimal, “partly due to the determined actions of the persistent truck drivers”.