Sunday 25 October 2009

Shocking Work Conditions at the National Stadium

In Warsaw, construction work is going on at the site of the future National Stadium. On Oct. 23 it came to light that there are serious labour problems at the stadium.

The consortium building the stadium is like an octopus with many legs. Many different entities, each using a complicated chain of subcontractors. As it turns out, some work is done by people hired by a chain of 6-7 subcontractors. Each subcontractor waits for money to may its subcontractor, who in turn pays another one, etc. etc., until the money finally gets to the workers. Although there are different situations for different workers, some people take 3 months to get any money and some people on the site haven't been paid at all.

Some of the workers had a work stoppage. Others just walked off the job.

Some people don't even know what company they work for. Some have no contracts.

Some people said "somebody should do something", so we decided to try to inform people about this situation, and next week there will be a picket. In the meanwhile, we say to the workers - if you are not paid, don't work. Down your tools. Consider sabotage.

We don't like this fucking football stadium anyway. A shitload of money goes into it and it is the cornerstone of the local gentrification plan. Raids against immigrants who were selling things in a bazaar in front of the stadium were part of the plans to "clean up the area".  The eviction of tenants on Marcinkowskiego St. which the Tenants Defence Committee blocked was part of the gentrification plan. The plans to gentrify and put a security fence around our lovely park, across the street for the stadium, is something we also oppose. At the same time when they are massively liquidating hospitals and schools in the neighbourhood, shitloads of money goes to build a stadium in the colours of the Polish flag, in the place of the old stadium. If they are going to spend public money in this way, the least they can do is to require the winners of public tenders to ensure the labour law is respected on the construction site.

We will see what happens next week. In the meantime, people are fed up and leaving work. We say that they should fight, not give up.

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