Tuesday 28 September 2010

Strike is the Only Reasonable Dialogue with the Bosses

Leaflet for demonstration, Sept. 29 in Warsaw.

The so-called "economic crisis" in Poland was a boom for the bosses. Although there was actually economic growth in this country - in contrast to some other places in the world - the crisis served as a pretext for mass dismissals and worsening work conditions. As we can see, often the dismissals were made only to get rid of full-time workers with benefits and replace then with temporary ones. Working people saw how this was happening, yet all the time we were hearing lies from the bosses and being told we should be happy to have any job
at all. The crisis also brought in new anti-worker legislation. Some of it, in the anti-crisis package, was meant to be temporary. But we know that the bosses have been trying to impose these things for a long time and now it is clear that much of this will become permanent changes, a permanent blow to working conditions.
During this whole time that an unprecedented attack on workers rights has been going on - the worst since the transition of the Polish economy - the main unions have been sitting at the negotiating table, conducting "dialogue" with the bosses. They have either agreed to sign away your rights, or done too little to stop it.

The soft language of social partnership does nothing to scare the bosses. Neither do these symbolic protests, attended by more professional union activists than workers. A few hours protesting the government in Warsaw is not a show of strength. In light of the situation, the only reasonable form of defense is the one the unions always avoid - the general strike. And not just for an hour, not just
for a day, but until our victory.

If we want to fight and win this struggle, the battle must be led by the workers themselves - not by an army of union bureaucrats afraid for their cushy jobs.

To those here today that want to strike and who are being discussed with talk of dialogue and moderation, call an assembly, without your union activists and organize yourself. Self-organization is the best way to avoid betrayal and only struggle will stop the onslaught of the next reforms which are ahead.