Illicit work, illegal employment and wage cheating in the construction industry have caused millions of damages in the region. The IG BAU union announced this and relies on a current evaluation by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Afterwards, officials from the main customs office in Saarbrücken last year checked a total of 261 construction companies in the region and initiated 567 investigations. The state and social security funds lost 9,7 million euros due to illegal practices in the industry.
IG BAU district chief Marc Steilen speaks of a “terrifying amount of criminal energy". The image of an entire industry is at stake here. "Clean companies should not look away if competitors do not abide by the rules. The corona crisis has shown just how important the construction industry is to support the economy in the region"Says the IG BAU Saar-Trier.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, construction revenues rose by around seven percent in the first five months of the year despite the pandemic.
"The best way to combat illicit construction business is to compete fairly on fair wages and working conditions. The entire industry has to commit to this if it does not want to lose its reputation"Said the trade unionist. In the current collective bargaining round, employers would have the chance to make the construction professions more attractive for specialists and young professionals.
But it is also crucial that customs take a closer look at black sheep. "It is not only the number of checks that is important, but also the quality. Financial control undeclared work needs more staff here“Said Steilen.
According to the Ministry of Finance, only 160 posts were filled at the main customs office in Saarbrücken at the beginning of the year.
The customs statistics are based on a parliamentary request from the Bundestag MP Beate Müller-Gemmeke (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen). The labor market politician told IG BAU: "Undeclared work and wage fraud are not trivial offenses. Customs must be strengthened in order to be able to control them across the board and to effectively combat illegal activities - especially on the construction site. ”