Friday 14 January 2011

Picket at OBI

On Jan. 12, members of ZSP picketed OBI in Warsaw. In  the morning, leaflets were handed out at OBI headquarters. In the evening, a picket was held in front of one of the stores. The date was not coincidental; that morning a court case started against the firm in Krakow where a woman fired for union activism took the firm to court to fight for her reinstatement.
At the Warsaw store, our comrades went inside and leafletted the customers while a smaller group stayed in front with a banner. People were given MOBI stickers, featuring the MOBI monster, symbol of mobbing inside the firm. Many people were interested in the situation and expressed their disapproval of the firm's labour practices.
After the action, we found out that the Krakow store decided to fire more union members, as a part of "regular reduction". They haven't been handed notices yet, but the union has been informed of this. We also heard that, under pressure to make a deal and discouraged by others, the worker took compensation and gave up asking for reinstatement. However, she says she is happy not to go bad to work at OBI, a firm which harrassed her and, when she had found work elsewhere, informed her new employees, causing her to be fired again. She said that she especially dressed in red and black when meeting with the bosses. We heard that other workers, after the action, also tried to wear some red and black elements to work under their uniforms, or as accessories. From one internet forum, we hear that people are talking about the situation and discussing what to do about firings, mobbing and the electronic salespeople who may appear in their shops.