• Germany edition
 
Town pays refugees to haul luggage
Photo: DPA

Town pays refugees to haul luggage

Published: 24 Jul 2013 08:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Jul 2013 08:32 GMT+02:00

Since Monday, a group of asylum seekers is being paid just over a euro an hour to haul train passengers' luggage up and down flights of stairs in the southern town of Schwäbisch Gmünd, wrote Der Spiegel late on Tuesday.

The ten refugees, originally from African countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, currently residents of the 250-strong refugee shelter in the town, had volunteered for the job, wrote the magazine.

Clad in red T-shirts declaring “Service” and straw hats to shield them from the sun, the refugees work in teams of two, completing two luggage-hauling shifts a day between 6.15 am and 6 pm.

The town - which is getting a face-lift as it prepares to host Baden-Wüttermberg's State Garden Festival next year - employed the refugees after receiving complaints from passengers unwilling or unable to carry their own luggage over a temporary steel bridge between platforms during renovation work.

The meagre wage – paid on top of free transport to and from work - is the maximum asylum seekers can earn in Germany by law.

“It's not a sum that serves as an incentive,” town spokesman Markus Hermann told the magazine, adding that everyone wished the refugees could get more cash for their work.

One way is to appeal to passengers – who have welcomed the new porters - to give them generous tips to supplement their earnings, said Hermann.

Schwäbisch Gmünd Mayor Richard Arnold is keen to get the refugees involved in the community – and sees the station work as just one way to encourage contact between locals and the asylum seekers, wrote the magazine.

“These people are living with us and we have to take care of them,” Mayor Arnold told Der Spiegel.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

Police find dead baby in train station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find dead baby in train station locker

Police in Hamburg found the body of a baby hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. The woman believed to be its mother is in psychiatric care. READ  

German of the Week
Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter. Photo: DPA

Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest

Dieter Reiter has been in office for less than five months and will this week take on one of the Munich mayor's most important duties - tapping the first keg at Oktoberfest. He is only the city's second mayor in the last 21 years. READ  

Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,370
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd