Sunday 16 May 2010

Meeting with Women in Walbrzych

Members of ZSP from Warszaw and Wroclaw were invited to meetings in Walbrzych with women facing problems such as unemployment, precarious working conditions and lack of proper housing to talk about experiences and proposals for tackling these issues.

The women, many of them single mothers, complained about poor working conditions and lack of decent employment. They complained about how many workplaces try different methods to make people work for free and about conditions in supermarket work. Many are unemployed and some find lack of childcare facilities a barrier to employment. (On this issue, a concrete proposal was made and it looks as if the women will take steps to organize some sort of collective child care center in the place the meeting was held.)

Another issue for women was housing, both poor conditions and lack of it. Some of the women squatted vacant municipal housing when city bureaucrats proved unwilling to help them, making repairs and bring it to liveable standards. They are facing both repression from the city (eviction attempts) and problems with things like getting water and electricity installed. A member of ZSP Warsaw active in the tenants' movement also advised on what could be done and the need to organize grassroots movements in the city.

The participants considered the meeting successful and fruitful and hopefully some follow-ups will take place soon.