Merkel praises the hard work of the employees | Free press

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Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) recognized the work of many workers under difficult Corona conditions on Labor Day and called for the use of testing options.

“Jobs that otherwise don’t get as much attention in particular have kept the country going,” she said in her weekly video message. For example, without the workers in supermarkets and the people behind the wheel of trucks, “we could not count on the usual food supply”.

If employees cannot work from home, employers are now required to offer two corona tests per week. “I urge you to take advantage of this offer now – for your own safety and because it is in everyone’s interest that infections are detected early,” Merkel said.

In view of many people in the home office, she stressed, “I realize how stressful it can be when the dining table is both a desk and homework space for the kids for months on end.” The home office is “a huge help” against the spread of the virus. “It avoids daily subway or bus trips to work, it reduces contacts and thus the risk of contamination.”

On May 1, Merkel also thanked works councils and union members who advocate good working conditions and fair pay. As in the financial crisis, social partnership has also proven itself in these difficult times.

Given the economic downturn of the pandemic, the federal government has used billions to increase short-time benefits and extend the duration of benefits. “That was well-invested money.” So companies could have kept their staff. “And so you can get back to work sooner when the economy picks up again – and we expect that this year.”

On Labor Day, the IG Metall chief demanded a fair distribution of the burden of the cost of the corona pandemic from politicians. On the one hand, stock markets were booming and there has never been such a rapid rise in the number of billionaires, said Jörg Hofmann of the editorial network Germany (RND). At the same time, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost and more people are dependent on Hartz IV.

“The risks of the pandemic and transformation cannot be borne by the workers alone, while others seize their opportunities,” the unionist warned. The pandemic is not only leaving victims and losers, there are also profiteers. “This massive imbalance can also shake up the political arena.”

On Labor Day, the police are challenged not only at the traditional DGB headquarters – this time in Hamburg – but in many places through numerous other demonstrations. Another point of attention is Berlin, where around 5,000 officers will be deployed around May 1.