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The public award goes to „Henry am Zug Hungary”

On February 20, 2015 the negative award „Eyesore of the Year 2014” was given during a gala event in Vienna. Beside others also Petra Bayr, member of the Austrian parliament (Social democrats), and Klaus Werner-Lobo, author of the book „Schwarzbuch Markenfirmen” (black book brand name companies) participated in the event.

The public award goes to „Henry am Zug Hungary”

Starting in January more than 6.000 people participated in the online voting process by which the participants decided which corporation or person should get the „Eyesore of the Year 2014” audience award this year. Prior to that the general public was given the opportunity to submit nominations for the negative prize. The nominees were IKEA, Samsung, Plachutta, Eterna, Jean-Claude Juncker and Henry am Zug. The result of the online voting was revealed Friday evening in the OFF theatre in Vienna: Henry am Zug (Hungary), the catering service in ÖBB trains, was awarded with the audience award for wage dumping (34% of all votes). The fact that many employees of Henry am Zug (Hungary) also work on Austrian lines but are paid on Hungarian conditions – only 500 € net per month – has rightly outraged many people.

Heinz Högelsberger of the trade union vida justified the nomination as follows: „Those who thought that social dumping happens in secret, were corrected by Henry am Zug. Obviously discrimination and wage dumping take place in the eyes of the passengers of Austrian public railway services instead. Do & Co. (the owner of Henry am Zug) should take the „Eyesore of the Year 2014” award as an opportunity to change their policy and pay all employees of „Henry am Zug“ equal and fair wages.”

The jury award goes to JC Juncker

The second „Eyesore of the Year 2014” was awarded to Jean-Claude Juncker, because he successfully managed developed Luxembourg to one of the most important offshore-places within the EU during his incumbency as Prime minister. Transnational corporations, wealthy individuals or investment funds — Luxembourg provides all of them with ‘creative solutions’ for tax avoidance. Due to Juncker’s policy Luxembourg is the prototype of a tax haven”, stated David Walch from Attac Austria.

Franz Fiala from the Consumer Council and Chairman of the NGO Netzwerk Soziale Verantwortung (NeSoVe) on Juncker: „Juncker is not only the political architect responsible for the tax haven Luxembourg, which bounces the Community tax revenues, but is also a symbol for the Europe of corporations, a symbol for the dismantling of democracy and the prevention of regulation, all of which only big corporations profit from. To say it clearly: There should be no place for politicians like Juncker in the European leadership, and certainly not in the European Commission “

„Eyesore of the Year 2014” demonstrates need for political action

Asked about the reason which led to establish the „Eyesore of the Year 2014” Stefan Grasgruber-Kerl, deputy chair of NeSoVe, explains: „We have to emphasize that the „Eyesore of the Year 2014” is a political price. The purpose of the campaign is to create a serious debate about how we can establish and maintain a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Our netword calls for strengthen regulation in the areas of workers and human rights and to entrench more corporate responsibility. We need guaranteed minimum standards in these fields, which must be secured through legislation. The initiative „Eyesore of the Year 2014” thus is also aimed at policy makers in a bid to create just laws and regulations as a basis for a better tomorrow. “

With regard to the „Eyesore of the Year 2014” Marieta Kaufmann, CEO of NeSoVe and coordinator of the initiative, emphazises: „Both the awardees, „Henry am Zug” and Jean-Claude Juncker, make it totally clear that fundamental changes are not only necessary in Austrian but also at EU level.”

„Eyesore of the Year 2014” of the year 2015

In 2016 the negative prize will be awarded again. Nominations may be submitted in September 2015. NeSoVe is looking for companies, organizations, institutions or individuals who have distinguished themselves by particularly socially irresponsible behavior and have a reference to Austria.

For more information: Photos of the gala, background information, dossiers of the nominees: www.schandfleck.or.at

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Photos (by Philipp Giegerl)
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