Provence & Côte d'Azur: ARWE Service France has reportedly been employing workers under German contracts
Union speaks out against “social dumping” case
ARWE subcontracts to numerous car rental firms and specialises in cleaning their vehicles. In the south of France, the company is based at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.
French trade union CFDT has claimed, in a press release, that since 4th April this year, the establishment has employed a number of foreign workers illegally.
“In this case, Greek workers are under a German contract, and they're only receiving 1,935 euros for 174 hours as opposed to workers under a French contract earning 2,270 euros,” Phillipe Coltat, a CFDT representative, told regional newspaper Nice Matin.
Germany is one of the few countries that doesn't have a statutory minimum wage and unions and employers tend to negotiate wages sector by sector. There are also low levels of social welfare benefits regarding illness, retirement and unemployment.
It has been alleged that around 30 Greek employees within the Nice-based company have been working over the maximum 48-hour week.
During a television interview with France 3, Sabine Luc, a representative from the ARWE Human Resource Department, said that the employees usually work in Germany on a fixed contract and have only been transferred to the department in Nice on a temporary basis for the busy summer season. "Our workers live together in a holiday centre located in Saint Laurent du Var, financed by the company," she added.
During the same interview, Directeur Général Délégué Thomas Nau stated that "European employees have the tendancy to move around Europe for working purposes. It’s not necessarily just Greek people, it happens to Italian and Spanish workers as well, for example."
The trade union says it will be launching an inspection of what it calls “social dumping”, arguing that the equal pay law outlined in the French Labour Code is not being respected and the company is bailing out of its responsibilities of working in France.