GERMANY; Rheda-Wiedenbrück. The number of infected employees in Germany's largest slaughterhouse of the Tönnies group rises to 657 in Rheda, and bottlenecks in the supply of self-service meat are threatening. Meanwhile, the family argument flared up again.
The corona outbreak in the Tönnies meat factory at the Rheda-Wiedenbrück site reignites the dispute in the Tönnies family. Robert Tönnies asks his uncle Clemens as well as the other members of the management and the advisory board to resign. That's what the "Manager-Magazin" reports. In a letter to the management, Robert Tönnies criticises the "irresponsible" actions and the "endangerment of the company and the population". "The management of the company must be transferred as quickly as possible to an experienced and responsible crisis management team," continued Robert Tönnies. The nephew of the group's CEO has been criticizing the system of work contracts for some time.
On Wednesday evening, the district of Gütersloh reported that 983 of the 1,050 samples have now been evaluated. Corona infection was detected in 657 employees. It is not yet clear what impact the closure of Germany's largest slaughterhouse will have on the local market for slaughter pigs and meat. In Rheda-Wiedenbrück, around 140,000 pigs are hooked every week. This corresponds to almost 15% of all pig slaughters in Germany. Tönnies has a significantly larger market share in packaged fresh meat in food retailing.
At the joint press conference held by the company and the District Office on Wednesday afternoon, representatives of the Tönnies Group of Companies expressed their confidence that they would be able to divert the animals for slaughter to other locations within the Group. Despite the great importance of the meat plant in Rheda for the meat supply, Gütersloh District Administrator Sven-Georg Adenauer (CDU) sees no reason for hamster purchases. He assumes that the plant will have to remain closed for about two weeks.
Meanwhile, at Tönnies they are searching for the causes of the surprising corona eruption. Previous row tests among the employees had not yielded positive results. There could be a connection with the journeys home of Eastern European contract workers who had visited their families in their home countries on the long weekends in May and June, said Dr. Gereon Schulze Althoff, head of the Tönnies pandemic crisis team at the press conference. Trade unionists and politicians regard this thesis as daring. Rather, the effects of the prevailing working and living conditions and the climate in slaughterhouses on the spread of coronavirus should be investigated.