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.

Although we presented our demands clearly enough, the boss now asked us for an official letter, which we will present him tomorrow. What we will demand is:

- payment of all money due to our comrade (he does not want to be reinstated, and after meeting the boss, we don't blame him)
- no more attempts to charge workers for "training" and no unpaid trial periods
- legal hiring and working conditions
- no more illegal deductions from pay
- full-time contracts for employees that want

The pickets have created a lot of discussion in the neighbourhood and has been on the news. After the first picket already other restaurant workers contacted us and are considering a campaign.