The dispute between a fruit grower in the Lake Constance region and Georgian harvest workers continues. On Friday, the labor court in Ravensburg made no final decision in the dispute over continued wages. Instead, the presiding judge, Carolin Hopf, adjourned the hearing to June 10. Then witnesses should be heard.

18 workers who came to the fruit farm to work in May 2021 complained. The main dispute between the two parties is to what extent the workers showed up for work in the morning and whether they were deployed eight hours a day as agreed. The minimum wage was contractually agreed.

On Friday, the fruit grower did not want to accept a settlement from the court. Instead, he suggested donating 500 euros to Ukraine. He didn’t want to pay anything to the harvest workers, he said. In comparison, the court proposed that the fruit grower pay every harvest helper 750 euros.

The fruit grower also rejected a proposal from the harvesters’ lawyer. Sabina-Agathe Häußler from the DGB-Rechtschutz GmbH suggested that a test case should first be conducted and the rest left alone until a decision was made.

The 18 harvest workers who are suing the court were among a group of 24 workers from Georgia who had come to Germany as a result of a new agreement. Shortly after their arrival, the harvest workers complained about the intolerable conditions at their accommodation on the farm in the Lake Constance region.

The toilets were partially broken and not separated by gender, confirmed the district office of the Lake Constance district after an inspection. Some furniture in the kitchen was so worn that its surfaces could no longer be cleaned hygienically. The problems were “remedied immediately”, said the owner at the time when asked.