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Germany – Politician’s embarrassing blunder helps staffing industry

11 April 2013

The social democratic candidate for the German chancellorship, Peer Steinbrück, has given unwanted publicity to the staffing industry after copying the slogan of a local staffing firm for his election campaign. The politician, who has been critical of the staffing industry in the past, was unaware of his faux pas when he posted the slogan on Twitter earlier this week.

It did not take long for the German media to make fun of the politician who is known for his controversial remarks. His party has numerously called for further restrictions of the staffing industry, which still splits opinion among political leaders and the general public.

Mr Steinbrück copied his campaign slogan, “Das Wir enscheidet”, from German recruiter Propartner. The phrase does not translate easily into English but literally means “the us that decides”. The Social Democratic party said it was unaware that the motto was already in use. But the recruiter is not planning to take legal action.

Head of Propartner, Christophe Cren, said: “We have been using this slogan since 2007. But the motto is not legally protected that is why we are not planning to prosecute the Social Democratic Party.”

Mr Cren said it was now time for the social democrats to recognise the benefits of staffing firms. “We create jobs. I demand clarity for our industry,” he said. The opposition and leading party of Angela Merkel has meanwhile taken several steps to support staffing companies, also publicly praising the industry for its contributions to the labour market.  

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