Meat Company: Tönnies paid Gabriel for a consultant

Meat Company: Tönnies paid Gabriel for a consultant

Former Federal Minister of Economy Gabriel worked from 2020 to the end of May 2020 as a consultant for the meat company Tönnies.

Author: Robert Bongen, GDR

Sigmar Gabriel was paid as a consultant by the largest German meat producer Tönnies. Proof of this are the evidence that ARD Panorama Magazine they are available. Accordingly, the former Federal Minister of Economy worked for the group from March 2020 to the end of May 2020. Gabriel apparently received a flat fee of € 10,000 per month and an additional four-digit fee for each day of travel. The activity should last two years.

On request from panorama Sigmar Gabriel informed that his activities in the private sector are not subject to any disclosure obligations. When providing information to the media, they must always protect the interests of third parties. Nevertheless, he confirmed that he had worked for the Tönnies since March 1, 2020.

The contractual relationship has apparently ended

Gabriel said he was advising the company on looming export problems related to African swine fever. However, his work has now ended: “I had to quit this job due to a difficult illness and a complicated operation that was necessary for me on 31 May 2020. At that time, it was not clear to me if and if so when I would continue my career. This gives the impression that his contractual relationship has now finally ended.

Gabriel emphasized that he was panorama– The requirement ‘in view of the particular public interest in the present case and also because neither I nor my business partners consider the previous consultation work to be problematic for Tönnies’.

The involvement was mainly focused on the Chinese market

CEO Clemens Tönnies was after panorama– The research personally cared for the staff. panorama from the meeting of the advisory committee of the group on 26 February 2020 is a presentation slide. “Clemens Tönnies has successfully involved Mr. Sigmar Gabriel as a consultant. He will make the Tönnies Group available to his extensive contacts and actively support projects. ”According to the document, this is mainly the Chinese market. Gabriel should explore new rail transport options to China and negotiate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and China in the event of an outbreak of “African swine fever.”

It is also “communication advice in cases selected by the client”. Obviously, there is no target agreement. The internal document states: “The subject of the order placed by the supplier is the agreed service, not a certain success”. Tönnies Holding’s answer is still pending.

Gabriel once described exploitation in the meat industry as a “disgrace”

The Tönnies meat company is criticized after a wave of corona infections among predominantly Eastern European contract workers in the Rheda-Wiedenbrück locality in the district of Gütersloh.

At the beginning of 2015, Sigmar Gabriel – so far as the Federal Minister for the Economy – called the system of exploitation in the German meat industry a “shame for Germany”. These were mainly the often desolate working and living conditions of contract workers in Eastern Europe. Gabriel then visited the Tönnies main plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück and was personally led by the production of Clemens Tönnies.

As a result, the six largest German meat groups led by Gabriel and Tönnies have agreed on a voluntary commitment to social standards in the meat industry. Therefore, in future, all contract staff should be employed under German labor and social security law, the number of contracts should be reduced and investment should be invested in accommodation.

Gabriel doesn’t break the waiting time rule

This initiative has been largely ineffective. According to the Tönnies Group itself, in 2018, half of all employees still worked through subcontractors. The living situation of contract staff has clearly improved only slightly.

Sigmar Gabriel has not been in the Bundestag since November 2019. From 2013 to 2017 he was the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and until March 2018 the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs. His work for the Tönnies did not violate the regulation of waiting times for the transition from politics to economics. Gabriel was Minister until March 2018 and has been a Tönnies consultant since 2020. The law requires former members of the federal government to report if they intend to perform private employment within 18 months of leaving office.


Mark James

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