Monday 23 August 2010

Warsaw: Pickets at Azteca Bar Continue

Pickets at Azteca Bar in Warsaw are continuing. After failure to make any progress with the boss on Friday / Saturday, ZSP decided to picket the establishment every day at lunch and dinner hours. The protests are related to illegal deductions taken from the pay of our dismissed comrade, attempts to make people work illegally, without any contract and unpaid trial periods, with 'training' that the boss wants to charge workers for if they do not work a certain period of time.

During the first picket on Monday, the boss of the bar became very agressive towards the leafleters and started making many threats. According to him, handing out leaflets should end in 'criminal charges" and he threatened to sue us for losses his business has incurred due to our pickets. He made a great scene, shouting at and filming the protestors and calling the police. Neighbours and passersby then got involved in the argument. Most people tell him he should pay the money.

In the evening the protestors consisted of more senior citizens and the boss became more subdued and only shouted at the younger people. Again the police and city guards were called and again the boss was told that we have the right to picket him. We promised that we would return tomorrow, he could be assured.

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Saturday 21 August 2010

First Picket at Azteca Bar

On Aug. 20, ZSP held an action at Azteca Bar in Warsaw. We are demanding an end to the deliberate cheating of vulnerable workers in this cafe.

The problems which led to the conflict are the following:

1. The owner of the bar (Jakub Mazur) uses unpaid trial periods for workers. On top of that, he claims that he provides "training" to the workers and estimates the value of this training at 1300 zloties (326 euro). He gives the workers contracts which state that this money will be deducted from their salaries if they do not work a certain period of time. It is approximately one month's salary - for full-time workers, So if somebody works only one month, s/he will receive nothing.

Most of the workers are students, working part time. Our comrade, a high-school student, was earning about 500 zloties a month (125 euros), so this fake "training" would cost people like that almost three months' salary!
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Tuesday 10 August 2010

Thousands Rally in Defense of Secularism

In a rare anti-clerical action, thousands rallied late last night in front of the Presidential Palace, demanding the removal of "Kaczynski's Cross". The cross, which was placed there after the plane crash in Smolensk, has been the object of much public debate. It became something of a symbol and a place of pilgrimmage for conservatives and far-rightwingers.The anarchist group WRS managed to gather thousands of signatures on a petition to remove the cross.

Many people were against the makeshift shrine in front of the palace and authorities decided that it should be moved to a nearby church instead of standing in front of the seat of the President. Attempts to move it resulted in a violent clash.
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