Legal Actions Begin - Protest in Front of the Munich Museums Continues

The labour dispute between the bookstore Walther König and the student employees proceeds without change. Since 8 February 2021, the working students and the grass-roots union FAU demand paid sick days, entitlement to paid leave and cancellation of the negative hours illegally accumulated during the pandemic that all employees are required to work off without pay. The employer continues to ignore the union's request for negotiation – despite the increasing pressure from public and art world. To date, the only answer to the employees’ demands: the pay for February was denied, when they demanded the payment of their wages, the fighting employees were laid off. Now, the stores are left almost without employees.
Since 10 March 2021, the employees call attention to their situation protesting and distributing leaflets in front of the three museums Lenbachhaus, Brandhorst and Haus der Kunst, in each of which Walther König is tenant.
A student employees states: "The rally in front of the museum has shown that our case doesn't fall on deaf ears – most of the people we talked to were shocked by the behaviour of the bookstore chain. We also get a lot of response from employees in other cities who experience the same conditions and support our cause. It is totally unacceptable that Walther König is not at all responding to us and that we ended up losing our jobs.“
Towards the press and the museum Lenbachhaus, Walther König denied the accusations, stating not to know of any violation of the law.

An employee responds: “How could Walther König possibly say they know nothing about the conditions in their own business? And how can they say, holidays are compensated for with the wage if our wage is barely above the minimum wage? The statement of the bookstore Walther König shows their deep ignorance for their employees' working conditions.“

The union FAU and the employees will now take legal actions in order to achieve justice in the following issues:

  • The dubious layoffs,
  • the denial of any entitlement to paid leave,
  • the illegal accumulation of 'negative hours' during the lock-down,
  • the wages for February that were not paid.

“To take legal actions is the next logical consequence for us, as there is no response to our demands. However, what we demand are only basic rights all workers are entitled to. Our goal is to put an end to this abuse – in all Walther König branches", a student states concerning further action.
The judicial path will be accompanied by further union activities. There will be regular leafleting actions in front of all the Munich locations. On 23 March 2021 at 15:30 h, the employees will hold a rally in front of the museum Lenbachhaus.