The self-fulfilling evil deed: Poisoned labor relations and orchestrated chaos at Flink.
Berlin Labor Court declares termination of employment against works council founder null and void, but annuls employment relationship because of his journalistic activities. [DEUTSCH]
Criticism by aktion ./. arbeitsunrecht’s press spokesman of union busting and dirty methods by Flink SE and its service providers allegedly makes „prosperous cooperation“ as a rider at a Flink subsidiary impossible — says Berlin labor court.
Flink’s union busting strategy unfortunately succeeded in the first instance. The issue is a self-fulfilling active and wanton poisoning of labor relations by the management and its service providers: shamelessly lying, defaming, publicly branding, scheming, harassing & spying — and if those affected defend themselves, if someone publicly criticizes in due severity, then according to the labor court „a thriving cooperation“ is no longer possible.
Thank you very much! Is that justice?
Does that lead to an improvement in labor relations? Progress and improvement also come from friction, initiative and criticism. The democratic constitutional state is rotting here in a strategically decisive zone: Democracy in the economy & the workplace cannot be had this way. Thus the labor jurisdiction makes itself the extended workbench of Union Busting.
If we ask ourselves why there are so many cowards, yes-men, scaredy-cats and lackeys in the German working world, why it is so difficult to practice walking upright, then we have a tradition right here that goes back to the German Empire and the Prussian authoritarian state. The chimera of the company community, trusting, prosperous cooperation. But what happens if the management goes for it and acts maliciously? Shouldn’t labor laws and labor courts then protect the employees from stalkers and finishers?
Aus erster Hand informiert sein? Profis lesen Emails.Jetzt den kostenlosen Email-Newsletter der aktion ./. arbeitsunrecht ► bestellen
The present case perfectly illustrates the method of union busting: A company overpowers an active employee, against whom there are no complaints, with harassment, warnings, dismissals or worse, and then, in court, with a great gesture of innocence, throws up its arms and pleads, „The relationship has broken down.“ Yet this is precisely what the company itself has been working toward. And in the end, it even achieves the actual goal of removing the disagreeable person from the company. Aggressive companies are happy to accept thousands and thousands of euros in legal fees for this.
Elmar Wigand was also extremely popular and appreciated at his actual place of work, the Rummelsburg hub, which is operated by Flink Expansion 4 GmbH — by colleagues, customers and superiors. There was only one dispute with an employee of Flink SE, namely in court with Flink’s legal counsel Sarah Erne. And the dubious press agent Boris Radke, whose exact relationship to Flink remains unclear.
Furthermore, Elmar Wigand is a professional opponent of the union busting lawyer Tobias Pusch (Pusch Wahlig), who is in charge of the works council prevention at Flink. However, these figures have nothing whatsoever to do with the day-to-day work of a Flink rider. It is precisely here that algorithmically controlled low-wage work suffers: the head office remains abstract and virtual. In the end, you are just a number whose needs are not heard, processed by bots and programs. This is precisely the gap that the works council that Elmar Wigand and others at Flink want to fill.
What’s going on with Sarah Erne?
By means of an abstruse presentation and insulting written pleadings, Flink’s in-house lawyer Sarah Erne virtually set out to make the plaintiff and his lawyer burst their necks at some point, in order to then triumphantly say to the judge, meaningfully: „Look, listen — no trusting cooperation is possible with this man.“
Section 9 of the Dismissal Protection Act actually makes such a strategy possible. It says a termination of employment „shall be made by the court at the employer’s request if there are reasons why further cooperation between the employer and the employee that serves the purposes of the business cannot be expected.“ However, one could argue otherwise. It remains not obvious why a German labor court has to protect a company from self-confident workers* whose management acts in such an unscrupulous and right-nihilistic way — and incidentally thereby also systematically overloads the labor courts.
The current management is the problem from which the company should be protected. The task of a court and a focal public prosecutor’s office would be to ensure law and order here, to intervene properly, to uncover criminal conspiracies, instead of gallantly escorting the bearer of bad news out the door.
The 34th Chamber of the Berlin Labor Court, presided over by Judge Claus-Peter Morof, was obviously on the right track in the hearing on March 14, 2023, but in the end probably didn’t have the courage to make a groundbreaking decision for freedom of expression and basic democratic rights in Industry 4.0 and the Berlin startup swamp.
At least there was a partial success: The court rejected three attempts to terminate Flink. Some of the dismissals were based on abstruse, absurd, and fabricated reasons, including an alleged physical threat to Flink’s part-time press spokesman Boris Radke and „serious insults“ directed at him as a „poodle“ and „PR Clown“ (in German: „PR-Fuzzi“).
Radke was supposed to testify as a witness, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. We would have liked to know more about whether, and if so, how or when Boris Radke planned with Sarah Erne and the lead Flink Union buster Tobias Pusch to sink the election of an election committee for the works council election on September 5, 2022, into chaos with the help of a whipped-up mob, in order to subsequently contest the election. Here, too, we find the element of the self-fulfilling evil deed.
Defending criticism of companies and freedom of expression at work
Flink’s lawyer Sarah Erne possibly suffers from memory problems or speech and memory centers working autonomously from each other. She denied in court and in front of about 20 spectators that she had addressed the plaintiff as „Du“ (which is only approiate amongst friends and relatives), although she had done exactly that two sentences earlier for all to hear.
In the conciliation hearing on January 17, 2023, she had dismissed the election of the election board of September 5, 2022 as an „anarchist show“ and portrayed the flink rider Viktor C. as a Ukrainian refugee, although he is from Hungary.
The corresponding trial report on this blog, documenting the statements, is being attacked by the Schertz Bergmann media suppression law firm, even though we have multiple affidavits for each of the statements. Everyone in the courtroom heard it. Judge Morof also stated that he remembers Erne’s testimony that Viktor C. was Ukrainian. The fact that Sarah Erne is giving an affidavit on top of that is more than astonishing.
Erne’s behavior in court seems altogether puzzling to adventurous. Is it a provocation strategy without consideration of losses, up to the sworn false testimony? In any case — whether she consciously, unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally fails to remember — Erne seems to have missed her job as a legal advisor or in-house lawyer. This is about razor-sharp accuracy. Words matter in court. Babble that you don’t want to remember the next moment belongs at best in the pub.
We are waiting for the written decision and will most likely appeal. Also because Flink had previously dismissed a colleague, the rider Raúl, because of an interview with the German newspaper taz. Criticism of companies, including one’s own employer, is covered by freedom of speech. Cowering should not be encouraged any further — certainly not by labor courts.