Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner has criticized the Tönnies slaughterhouse. "I have little understanding for this," she told the picture on Sunday after the company and other subcontractors had submitted applications for reimbursement of wage costs to the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe. The incident at Tönnies, where over 1,500 employees were infected with the novel corona virus, had affected an entire region. "Citizens' anger about this will certainly not be lessened by the current procedure."
The background to the requests is the quarantine measures that were imposed on the Tönnies workers at the headquarters in Rheda-Wiedenbrück after the massive corona outbreak. According to the authorities, the Infection Protection Act provides for a reimbursement if health authorities close a company and order quarantine. The North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Labor Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) considers a legal claim of the Tönnies company and its subcontractors possible, but also warned in the Bild am Sonntag : "I would think very carefully instead of Mr. Tönnies and his business partners what you actually want to expect everything in North Rhine-Westphalia. "
For Anton Hofreiter, Greens' parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, it is bold how Tönnies now wants to cash in. "Anyone who relies on a system of exploitation, risks human health and is jointly responsible for the quarantine measures ordered, should avoid restraining themselves from possible reimbursement claims." FDP general secretary Linda Teuteberg urged the company to take on the responsibility it previously lacked in health protection. "An entire region has already been taken hostage for this. I think it is indecent to want to keep harmless at the expense of taxpayers."