Alnatura is a German producer of organic food. The German newspaper taz has repeatedly claimed that Alnatura is trying to prevent the forming of a Betriebsrat (Works council).

In October of 2015, Alnatura is said to have hijacked an election by introducing their own candidates shortly before the vote, thus splitting the vote so that no majority could be reached:

„Mit taktischen Spielchen“ soll Alnatura im Oktober 2015 die Wahl eines Wahlvorstandes in der Bremer Filiale in der Faulenstraße verhindert haben, sagt die damals noch dort angestellte Kai Wargalla. Denn unmittelbar vor der Wahl habe die Filialleitung, die in Mitarbeitergesprächen stets ihren Unmut über die geplante Betriebsratswahl geäußert habe, plötzlich selbst drei zusätzliche KandidatInnen aufgestellt. Aufgrund der Vielzahl an KandidatInnen erhielt bei der Wahl niemand die erforderliche einfache Mehrheit.

my translation: In October 2015, Alnatura prevented the election of a Wahlvorstand [election committee] "with tactical games" in the Bremen branch according to the then-employee Kai Wargalla. Immediately before the election, the branch management, which in talks with employees always expressed their displeasure about the planned Betriebsratswahlen [election of a Works council], suddenly nominated three additional candidates. Because of the multitude of candidates, no one got the required simple majority.

Alnatura is then said to have sued against deployment of a Wahlvorstand which would have resulted in elections for a Betriebsrat.

Alnatura however claims that workers voted against a Betriebsrat:

Im Oktober 2015 hatte sich in einer Wahlversammlung die Mehrheit der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter unserer Filiale gegen einen Betriebsrat ausgesprochen, unter anderem weil sie diesen für die Vertretung ihrer Interessen innerhalb des Unternehmens nicht für nötig hielten.

my translation: In October 2015 during a Wahlversammlung, the majority of employees in our branch decided against a Betriebsrat, among other because they did not consider it necessary for the representation of their interests in our company.

Did a majority of workers of Alnatura Bremen vote against the forming of a Betriebsrat in October of 2015?

  • 4
    You question is not consistent. it's perfectly possible that both "a majority of workers of Alnatura Bremen vote against the forming of a Betriebsrat" and "Alnatura hijacked an election". Mar 27, 2019 at 14:57
  • @DJClayworth Yes, both could be true, that would also be a valid answer (other valid answer would be one or the other is true, or neither is true). But if the majority of workers did vote against a Betriebsrat, then I would call the taz reporting a bit misleading. If the majority didn't vote against the Betriebsrat, then I would call the Alnatura comment false.
    – tim
    Mar 27, 2019 at 15:25
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not clear at all whether encouraging people to be a candidate should be considered "preventing unionization" even if it resulted in vote-splitting. It's a lot about the interpretation of an action and not about the actual empiric reality.
    – Christian
    Mar 28, 2019 at 9:26
  • Can you add English translation of your quoted excerpts for us who are linguistically deficient? Mar 28, 2019 at 15:05
  • 1
    @JeffLambert Translations are always difficult, and there are a couple of hard to translate terms in there, but I gave it my best try.
    – tim
    Mar 28, 2019 at 15:41


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