Trucker exploitation: Danish transport company Kurt Beier is taken to court
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The trial against Kurt Beier Transport A/S, which relates to the allegations it exploited drivers from abroad and operated a “slum camp” in the Danish city of Padborg, is to begin on May 10th.
Due to the poor conditions under which a number of drivers from third countries (those with third country status in the EU) were employed, the transport company reportedly made a financial gain of around four million kroner in saved costs (around 530,000 euros).
According to the indictment, the drivers were recruited from one of the defendants in the Philippines and Sri Lanka at the request of Kurt Beier. After that, they were employed as drivers in the Polish mailbox company LGBT International Transport. The employees signed a Polish employment contract and then drove across Europe. The drivers received remuneration well below the pay level that was rated for similar work in Denmark.
The transport company Kurt Beier also made headlines some time ago due to the alleged inhumane conditions in which its truck drivers had to live. In the so-called “trucker slums,” it is said that drivers were employed without social security, paid well below the minimum wage and without any right to a holiday. In addition, they were allegedly used, abused and pressured in violation of legal rest times.
“The drivers were threatened that a bus would come to take them to the airport if they didn’t continue working,” said Michael Wahl from the DGB project „Fair Mobility” in Berlin.
According to Stern.de, the Nordic Transport Group (NTG), an association of more than 30 Scandinavian freight forwarders with offices in Germany, have described the drivers’ plight as unacceptable. NTG boss Jesper Petersen said the company had stopped working with Kurt Beier as a result.