Friday 16 January 2009

ZSP Picket at Nestle HQ

Today was picket organized by ZSP at Nestle headquarters in Poland. The protest was in solidarity with Jacek Kotula, dismissed unionist from Alima-Gerber company, owned by Nestle Corporation. Kotula was illegally dismissed because of his fight for protecting rights in the Rzeszow baby food factory and because of his opinion that Nestle should buy fruit from local farmers at decent price. Kotula is fighting for return to his job. Monday is court case. Picketers went to Nestle corporation today as people were leaving work. There was talks about worker rights in Nestle, leaflets for employees. Police tried to stop a couple of people from going near the building but they moved too fast and once in front of building, they didn't want to make scene. Many guards locked doors of buildings and protected that only employees can go out, nobody in.

This is not first protest made against Nestle in Warsaw. They have bad record, the broke promises to some workers in other companies, they made big reductions to increase the profits and they don't tolerate the unionists who speak out. They made a big problems a few years ago at Goplana factory. We remember about Goplana, we know about the struggles of the workers and unions in Nestle in other countries.

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Monday 12 January 2009

Solidarity with Jacek Kotula

On Friday January 9, members of FAU Switerzland held a solidarity picket at Nestle HQ in Vevey in solidarity with Jacek Kotula, who was illegally fired in September from Alima-Gerber in Poland. ZSP Warsaw will hold a similar picket at Nestle HQ in Poland on Friday January 16. These pickets come before Mr. Kotula's next day in labour court, on January 19 and are meant to show the company that we do not forget about his case, nor do we forget about the repression of unionists that is so common in the Nestle corporation.

Action in Switzerland:

We are asking people to send solidarity faxes to Nestle HQ. Below is a sample letter. For more facts about the case, see:

Past problems with management:


Paul Bulcke
CEO Nestle
Fax:41-21-944 30 19

Leszek Wencel
Nestlé Polska Sp.zo.o.
ul.Szturmowa 2
Warszawa 02-678
Fax: + 48-22 607 2222
Fax: 22-607 22 76

Paweł Miłkowski
Alima-Gerber S.A.
ul. Gen. Stanisława Maczka 1
35-959 Rzeszów
fax. (017) 875 33 22

Tomasz Retmaniak
Alima-Gerber S.A.
ul Cybernetyki 7
Warszawa, 02-677
Fax 022 607 30 42

In fall 2008 the Chairman of Solidarity at Alima Gerber in Rzeszow, Poland , Jacek Kotula,
was dismissed on the basis of art. 52 of the Labour Code, despite the fact that he was protected by law. This is an attempt do intimidate and to gag unionists in your company.

Union representatives are protected by law since it is their job to protect the rights of workers, not just support the management. Jacek Kotula had to confront management on
different issues relating to the violation of the Labour Code, ranging from unpaid overtime work, work in dangerous conditions and mobbing at work. The reasons for dismissing Mr. Kotula seem like a convenient pretext to get rid of this unionist.

We are also aware that the company had been trying to hinder Mr. Kotula's union activity in the past.

We demand that Alima Gerber and Nestle stop it's anti-union activity and reinstate Mr. Kotula immediately.


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Friday 2 January 2009

Ecology and Economic Development

Cover of the booklet “A Change of Climate is Necessary”, produced by ZSP Warsaw. Copiest are available to Polish-speaking comrades. Write to:

In December the conference UN Climate Change Conference COP14 took place in Poland. Some members of ZSP took part in a demonstration and gave out leaflets explaining why we believe that the whole socio-economic system must be changed. The event provided an opportunity to explore some issues. There were critical texts published which unfortunately did not result in the intended debate in the ecological or labour movements, but rather in the different fractions of the anarchist movement. The former movements decided to ignore the arguments made and some declined requests for debate, which is one way to treat a challenge – to pretend it is not worth answering.

Among the issues brought up were the interconnections between capitalism, state capitalism and viewing the planet and people as instruments for creating wealth and whether or not change could be made by lobbying the existing system or by supporting the electoral ambitions of the Green Party.

It is important to note that some labour unions and part of the left are lobbying against limits on CO2 production since they feel this will hurt the economic potential of heavy industry in Poland. In particular, they are heavily defending the coal industry and thus are totally against Greenpeace’s anti-coal campaign.

The “coal miner” issue inspired an interesting debate amongst anarchists. In the course of the debate I had occasion to refer to many classical ideas of anarchism which have either been forgotten by the movement or never made their way into the discussion in modern times. (For example, some basic works of anarchism which may provide interesting approaches to the issues have never been published in Polish.) We were all reminded of the fact that the anarchist movement has long proposed creating safe workplaces and limiting work which is hazardous or which negatively impacts on ecology and health to what is necessary. With different social and economic values, society can work together to explore safer technologies, more environmental solutions and to find ways of dividing the impact of dirty work in a more equitable manner. We mustn’t lose sight of this positive vision which we can offer or be afraid to offer a more complex view on the matter, which happens if we allow ourselves to get bogged down in a black and white debate. Some have been trying to reduce the issue as one of protecting jobs and suggest that people must oppose a reduction in coal use for this reason. But even reformist, single issue Greenpeace has acknowledged in reports, analyses and recommendations that there is a social cost in terms of coal miners jobs and they have tried to argue that since we bear many other costs as a society to deal with the impact of global warming, and since jobs are also lost as an effect of global warming we are better off investing in cleaner energy alternatives and creating jobs in those sectors. The anarchist movement must not duck this issue. We have something to propose which is much richer than the simplistic “defend coal to save miners’ job” approach.
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