Sunday, 27 February 2011

FAU and ZSP Organize International Day of Action at OBI Stores in Poland and Germany

On February 25-26, pickets took place in nearly 20 cities in Poland and Germany, protesting against bad working conditions and union repression in OBI.

The action campaign was started by ZSP in Poland at the beginning of the year at the request of a couple of comrades from OBI and some workers from several cities who started to network on the internet. The main reason the campaign was started were incidents of union repression in the store in Krakow. So far OBI has fired a unionist there, threatened another with dismissal and refused to renew the contract of a third. In Walbrzych a worker who spoke out against bad working conditions received a disciplinary warning. The news about the formation of a union in OBI, which had no unions since the pioneer union in the chain was repressed in 2001, got employees around the country talking about working conditions in the stores and what they could do about them.
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Action at OTTO Office in Warsaw

Activists from the ZSP and a comrade from PA again visited the Warsaw office of OTTO Workforce. We went in with a list of complaints and demands to the company, listing some of the concrete abused OTTO committed against a list of workers and demanding they are paid what they were owed. We brought radio journalists and people from one of the main TV stations with us, to record the reaction of the company.
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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Campaign for Workers' Rights in OTTO Begins with Actions in Holland, Poland and Slovakia

Some workers cheated by the OTTO temp agency are fighting back!

They don't get the conditions promised to them in their contracts and job interviews and the company makes money off a system of fines used at the workers' "hotels". The end result - people work and don't get paid, or they wind up paying too much money for substandard housing which does not meet the standards of the collective labour agreement OTTO is supposed to be following.
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Friday, 4 February 2011

Revolution for Egypt

Speech for Demo at Egyptian Embassy in Warsaw:

The human urge for freedom and dignity burns intensely in Egypt. We support this urge for change, for greater freedom and a chance to shape ones own life. Only we ask the question: what next?

Will the Egyptian people exchange one authoritarian, unaccountable leader for another with a shorter term in office? Or just transfer power from a narrow group of rulers to a wider one? Or will the people take, for themselves, more direct control over their lives, creating community and workplace decision-making practices?
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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Problems with the Otto Temp Agency

Over the last few years, there have been tons of complaints about the practices of the Otto Workforce temp agency, in particular from Poles being sent to work abroad in Holland. It has found itself on at least one internet blacklist as an agency which cheats workers. Some people who work there or worked there in the past, have contacted AGA and ZSP about various problems, asking what they can do. At the very least, they ask us to warn people and inform them of their rights and what can be done if they are cheated.
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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Call Center Action

On February 1 ZSP-IWA started an information active about  illegal temporary work contractds at the Call Center of Bank Millennium in Warsaw. According to the labour law, the work done by the employees at the Call Center should entitle them to permanent contracts but the bank keeps signing temporary ones.

One worker who demanded a permanent contract was fired but went to court to establish his employment relation. This is how we know of the situation. The worker asked for solidarity. ZSP thought that it would be good to phone the 24-hour Call Center using its free line and to talk to the workers. We have started a campaign. Those who call the line can encouarge the people to organize, explain the differences between forms of contracts, what the worker loses without a fixed contract or explain how they can  get a permanent one.  Everything depends on how long they can speak. The participants can also give them contact info to ZSP or give the address of the website where there is practical information on the isubjects of contracts, the legal process and the direct organization of the workers.
The action is also directed at others who will receive leaflets or can read about the action on the Internet and learn something about their workers' rights.
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