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The THTR Circulars from 2002
THTR Circular No. 76 Sept. 2002
Hartz terror against the unemployed!
The billion-dollar bankruptcy of Bankgesellschaft Berlin, brought about by organized crime by bankers and politicians, has resulted in well-heeled fund investors plundering the guaranteeing state coffers for decades at the expense of the rest of the population and the fired top managers being allowed to cheer up severance payments and retirement payments in the millions. At the same time, the red-green federal government has withdrawn from the solidarity-funded pension system, which will relieve the burden on employers and drive low-income sections of the population into old-age poverty. Since the DGB trade unions did not offer any alternatives to the supposedly necessary lowering of non-wage labor costs propagated by the employers, they were politically disarmed and overrun by the events.
In order to point again shortly before a possibly lost federal election, Schröder brought the Hartz Commission into being, whose concept is supposed to offer the prospect of a significant reduction in unemployment.
Labor market à la Hartz / Schröder:
Delivering newspapers in the morning, cleaning the windows at noon, flushing the toilet in the evening.
The almost euphoric reporting in almost all media, with which this deeply reactionary awakening on the labor market was celebrated before the small print was known, gave an idea of what was to come. Regardless of the outcome of the Bundestag election, it is already clear that the most fundamental dismantling of social security systems will take place under the next federal government after the Second World War! It is not just about the further redistribution from the bottom up, which has been pursued more or less intensively by every government in the last few decades. It is about placing the unemployed under a system of pressure and control, in which they lose a large part of their previous rights up to the threat of deprivation of livelihood. The message of the Hartz Commission of deregulation and flexibilization of the labor market, expansion of temporary work, expansion of the low-wage sector and the privatization of social risks is very trendy and can be sure of support from red to black, yellow to green.
Descent into the low wage sector
Hartz and Co rely on a forced and improved placement of the unemployed. You do not create any new jobs, of course, but only increase fluctuation in the labor market. The Hartz strategy is once again focusing on the low-wage sector. If necessary, potential unemployed should be forced into this segment of the labor market. The organization of government agency work as well as the control of certain people from the benefit receipt ("Ich-AGs") are just as much components of this strategy as benefit reductions and the tightening of the regulations on reasonableness.
When it comes to reducing costs through repression, the Hartz Commission has proven to be extremely creative. In the future, unemployed people may have to take jobs anywhere in the republic. The burden of proof is also reversed. Unemployed people have to prove that a job is unreasonable. Those who are unable to work will receive social assistance in the future. At the same time, occupational and qualification protection is being further undermined, and existing professional qualifications are being devalued. At the same time, the intermediaries of the employment offices receive expanded discretion and target group-oriented performance bonuses if the placement has been successful. All incentives to increase the pressure on the unemployed.
The heart of the Hartz concept are the personal service agencies (PSA) established by the employment offices. Anyone who is placed with companies or temporary employment agencies via a PSA is not considered to be unemployed. If he or she is directly employed by a PSA, he / she has to work for a possibly changing employer for the first six months. Otherwise there is a risk of losing unemployment benefit (ALG). From the 7th month onwards, only a "collective wage" of around 70% of the previous gross wage should be paid for the same work. From this time onwards, the stricter reasonableness regulation applies, so that a further downgrading to a less well-paid and less qualified job can take place.
Legalized wage robbery
A large part of the new state temporary workers only end up in the old state of unemployment via the new employment, but with two disadvantages: Unemployment benefit is only available in connection with forced work, and if unemployment occurs again, the benefit entitlements are significantly lower. For the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the state, temporary work is a targeted transition phase towards reducing costs for people who cannot be integrated into regular gainful employment in the foreseeable future. Lowering benefit entitlements is the ultimate goal of PSAs and the reason why agency work is planned in such large numbers (500.000 for PSAs plus 280.000 for temporary employment agencies). It is to be expected that low-skilled people with little chance of placement will be "called up" to the PSAs so that their entitlement to benefits can be reduced through temporary work.
The Hartz Commission provides several options for completely eliminating groups of people from receiving benefits:
- The generously subsidized "Ich-AG" model is intended to lure the unemployed into mini self-employment. The founders of the "Ich-AGs" receive 50% of their entitlement to benefits plus the cost of social security as a starter. After three years, the "ego shareholders" are controlled. They could only return to the insurance system through a new job subject to social security contributions. Finding them was exactly her problem!
- People who earn between 500 and 1000 euros receive graduated social security subsidies. Precarious, low-wage employment is subsidized and promoted through unemployment insurance.
- In the context of the "new voluntariness", all unemployed people over 55 years of age are advised to buy themselves free from the placement and to be no longer available for the labor market. she
receive only unemployment benefits instead of unemployment benefits (in future ALD II).
Privatization: loss of social control
A so far little discussed, nonetheless essential innovation in the plans of the Hartz Commission is the partial privatization of the Federal Labor Office (BA) and the unemployment insurance system. They are therefore only subject to social control to a limited extent. This means that the bulk of the unemployed who will be exposed to the new restrictive cutbacks are solely subject to the privatized part of the BA and its board of directors. After pension and health insurance, the privatization of unemployment insurance has also begun.
So far, the DGB unions have essentially approved the Hartz Commission's plans. They only protested against the cuts in benefits. By not rejecting the overall package, these "unions" actively contribute to the social framework conditions for the unemployed, potentially, in the case of structural unemployment
Affected and low-wage earners continue to deteriorate through government action. The "unions" sacrifice the representation of the interests of workers and the unemployed to a short-term option!
Employees who do not belong to the higher earners and the unemployed can no longer rely on these DGB unions. They should join together in self-help groups and offer organized resistance against the planned attack on their social rights!
"Direct Action", newspaper of the Free Workers Union (FAU), 29th year. Reference: Mühlgasse 13, 60486 Frankfurt / Main
"Analysis and Criticism - AK", 32nd year, reference: Romberg Strasse 10, 20255 Hamburg. (Part of the information given in this article comes from AK No. 463)
Nuclear industry insists on "exit"
Which is why the nuclear power plant lobby rejected the Chancellor candidate Stoiber
From the point of view of the environmental associations and the nuclear-critical doctors' organization IPPNW, the nuclear energy policy of the red-green federal government is a disaster. One might be tempted to dismiss the associations' criticism as excessive - if it weren't for the Union's candidate for chancellor, Edmund Stoiber.
Months ago, the latter announced several times that he wanted to revise the "nuclear phase-out" in the event of an election victory. But then they intervened
Nuclear power plant operators with the Union's candidate for chancellor. According to media reports, they pointed out to Stoiber the advantages of the "nuclear consensus agreement" negotiated with the red-green federal government, which guaranteed them terms of more than 30 years. The nuclear industry is very satisfied with the recently amended Atomic Energy Act and generously allows the federal government to sell the existing protection for the German nuclear power plants to the public as an "exit from nuclear power". Stoiber has understood and has since made no announcements that he wants to change the Atomic Energy Act, which is so advantageous for the nuclear industry.
The red-green Atomic Energy Act guarantees German nuclear power plants operating times until their technical and economic end. The federal government generously ignored its own safety concerns. As recently as 1999, the responsible lawyers at the Federal Environment Ministry provided evidence in an internal legal opinion that none of the German nuclear power plants correspond to the current "state of the art of science and technology". According to the current case law of the Federal Constitutional Court, this report should have led to the immediate shutdown of the German nuclear power plants.
Instead, the same top officials at the Ministry of the Environment claim in the new Atomic Energy Act - without further justification - quite simply the exact opposite: German nuclear power plants correspond to the state of the art in science and technology. The new Atomic Energy Act also represents an attempt to eliminate the immediate problems of the nuclear industry with its nuclear waste: The radioactive waste can simply be stored in new multi-purpose halls right next to the nuclear power plants without having to prove that there is a final repository. And that from the reprocessing plants in
Plutonium returning to France and Great Britain may be "burned" in German nuclear power plants, although this leads to more unstable reactor operation.
In the nuclear consensus treaty, the federal government assured the nuclear industry that it would leave its various privileges untouched. In contrast to other energy sources, uranium should continue to remain tax-exempt, and in contrast to other risky companies, the nuclear industry will still not have to provide evidence of risk-adequate liability insurance for its plants. The multi-billion dollar nuclear provisions should continue to be available to the nuclear companies as an option for inexpensive internal financing for the ongoing expansion course. On top of that, the federal government (illegally) promised not to prescribe any costly safety retrofitting in the future.
If the nuclear power plant operators such as RWE, E.ON, EnBW and HEW were satisfied with the "atomic consensus", this federal government supported the nuclear power plant manufacturer Siemens with numerous Hermes guarantees for its nuclear exports abroad. Siemens received such guarantees for retrofitting a Slovenian, an Argentine and a Lithuanian nuclear power plant.
Rot.Grün even issued a Hermes guarantee for the construction of two new nuclear power plant blocks in a Chinese special economic zone. In addition, the German government refrained from voting against planned EU loans for the prefabricated construction of two nuclear power plants in Ukraine. So while in Germany the continued operation of nuclear power plants for decades was ensured, Red-Green promoted the construction of nuclear power plants abroad.
In 2001, the federal government changed the Radiation Protection Ordinance as the third essential component of its nuclear policy. The new regulation allows unlimited amounts of radioactive waste to be released into the environment. According to her, a large part of the rubble from demolished nuclear reactors will in the future be able to land on the next landfill (these are nice prospects for the THTR ... - Red.). An increase in the corresponding limit values makes it possible. Because this undeclared nuclear waste is no longer subject to any control, radioactive substances can in future even reappear in food without being noticed. The Society for Radiation Protection expects tens of thousands of radiation deaths due to the new regulations in the long term.
The new Radiation Protection Ordinance has significantly worsened radiation protection for the population. The permissible total annual exposure of a normal citizen has been increased from 0,6 millisievert to one millisievert (dose limit). Red-green therefore allows the radiation exposure to be almost doubled. In addition, pregnant women are exposed to great danger. Recently they have been allowed to work in the inner control area of reactors. And for the miners in the former uranium mining of the GDR in the Wismut region in the Ore Mountains, the limit values of the German radiation protection ordinance still do not even apply.
The specialist level of the Federal Environment Ministry confirmed to critics in writing in April 2001 that the Radiation Protection Ordinance should not be passed in this way. However, it came into force four months later.
From Henrik Paulitz. The author is a member of the International Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). The end: "Junge Welt"of August 28, 8
INTERNATIONAL Greenpeace campaign against planned THTR variant in South Africa
On August 24th, at the beginning of the World Environment Summit in South Africa, Greenpeace activists from nine different countries carried out an action against the planned prototype of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) - a THTR variant.
The environmentalists climbed the walls of South Africa's only nuclear power plant in Koeberg 30 km north of Cape Town and fixed a banner with the following text: "Nukes Out Of Africa". This Koeberg location is also intended for the planned PBMR. With this action, Greenpeace wanted to draw the public's attention to the dangerousness of this reactor line and called on politicians not to waste more money on nuclear energy, but to promote alternative energy.
As the information service "Nuclear Monitor" reported in its 572nd edition on August 30, 8, the prospects for the nuclear industry to set up a PBMR are now looking worse again. A report published on July 2002th by the South African PBMR Society states that a feasibility study calls into question the success of the planned project and the construction of the 30 (!) Reactors targeted according to the "business plan" within the next 7 years. Exelon, the largest US nuclear company, has already withdrawn from the PBMR development project.
As we have only now found out, 13 Dutch environmentalists blocked the entrance to the international HTR conference 21 with one hundred participants for an hour on April 2002 of this year.
Contact: Muna Lakhani at Earthlife Afrika, PO Box 11383, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa, Web:
Thinking outside the box
On the occasion of 25 years of local resistance, BI Ahaus would like to invite all environmentalists to the Ahaus town hall on November 3, 2002.
Program: + 11 a.m. Anniversary celebration, musically designed by the DGB choir "Signals".
+ 12.30 p.m. Brunch in the foyer of the town hall, music by Basta & Klaus the violinist
+ 15 p.m. Coffee and cake; Video and text documentation as well as a children's program throughout the event
+ 17 p.m. Torchlight procession around the BZA (bus transfer)
Contact: Tel .: 02561-961791; www.bi-ahaus.de
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