According to a trade unionist, the truck drivers striking at the Gräfenhausen motorway service station in southern Hesse want to emphasize their demands for outstanding wages with a hunger strike. The drivers, mainly from Uzbekistan and Georgia, have been standing with their cars in Gräfenhausen for more than two months to put pressure on their client in Poland. The hunger strike began on Tuesday, said Dutch trade unionist Edwin Atema, whom the drivers have appointed as negotiator, on Friday.

This has reached a further level of escalation in a labor dispute, which is also bringing the working conditions in international freight transport into focus.

Most of the drivers say they have not received a salary for months. There are currently no negotiations – the Polish freight forwarder filed a criminal complaint with the Darmstadt public prosecutor’s office for extortion weeks ago. The company has not responded to media inquiries for weeks.

“The drivers are desperate,” said trade unionist Atema, who the drivers have appointed as their negotiator. Many would have gone into debt just to be able to start work. The men hoped that the driving assignments in Western Europe would bring them more money and better living conditions for their families. “We still have a bit of hope,” said Adkhamjon Muminov from Uzbekistan.