Wednesday 27 April 2011

Visit to the OTTO Office in Warsaw

On April 27, ZSP visited the OTTO Office in Warsaw to remind them of the case of Maciej, who has not been paid sick leave and was being jerked around by the company. We have been campaigning for the company to pay and they even promised to do so... only still no money yet. At the office we saw the manager for Central Europe, who just happened to be in Warsaw that day, so we went to talk to him and give him a red card for OTTO, just like OTTO gives red cards to workers who they want to fine.
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Tuesday 26 April 2011

Leaflet for Distribution in the UK and Poland

We have made a leaflet with some basic information about workers' rights in the UK and are distributing it to people who will start working there. We also distribute a leaflet by Solidarity Federation in Polish and encourage people to contact them. If you are in the UK and would like to print out a few copies, it may be downloaded here. The SolFed leaflet can also be downloaded from our portal here.
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Days of Social Rage

May 27-28, Warsaw, Poland

We are facing an attack on all fronts and our struggle must take on new strength. The arrogance of the state and the impunity with which they attack us is growing. It is a massive offensive against workers and the unemployed, tenants, students, patients, immigrants and those who find themselves in vulnerable positions or on the margins of society. Reforms that they have wanted to implement for years are awaiting us. The government has been testing the waters, seeing how far they can go with us and how much they can get away with. 
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Sunday 24 April 2011

Send an Email to OTTO Workforce!

We ask people to send an email and using the email form here
OTTO Workforce Screws Injured Worker

The campaign to improve the treatment of people working for OTTO temporary agency continues. M. was working loading in Belgium where he got an industrial related injury (a hernia). While on leave in Poland, he was told by doctors that he needed to take sick leave but he was essentially dismissed (in temporary agencies this means the company says „we have no more work for you”). He is left with medical bills, has no insurance coverage in Poland and the company is giving him the run-around, refusing to deal with his case.

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Monday 11 April 2011

Days of Social Rage - Warsaw 27-28 of May

Protests against capitalism and its logic! 

In defense of labour and tenants, against anti-social policies, war and the logic of the security street!

On the occasion of the Visegrad Summit and the visit of Obama to Poland, ZSP calls grassroots organizations and all those who are fed up to get out in the streets and protest!

Main protest: Saturday, May 29 at 12:00    Plac Trzech Krzyży

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Tenants Meeting - Squat Action

For the past few months, members of ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee have been holding local meetings on privatization processes and tenant organization. They are made in different neighbourhoods and usually attract more than 150 people, many of whom decided to fight for their living spaces!

On Saturday, April 9, the meeting had an added dimension: it took place in a squatted building. The building had been inhabited until this fall. There is only one apartment owner - the rest is owned by the city. The owner is - by some "coincidence" - involved in real estate development. The rest of the tenants were evicted, presumably due to the "bad state" of the building. But in reality it is suspected that the city helped get rid of the tenants so the building can be commercialized. The city also has the corrupt practice, seen in other instances with real estate developers, of selling the municipally-owned parts of such buildings to the private owner with a minority interest in the property.

There is one tenant left, who refuses to go and is fighting to remain in his home.

A group of comrades squatted the building.  When the tenants came, many of them were shocked to see that the city is evicting people out of perfectly inhabitable buildings, when they then leave open to rot. The building was damaged by being left open all winter, which also pissed off the tenants. People were encouraged not to organize, fight against eviction and privatization and to take control over the property the city is mismanaging.

The Tenants Defense Committee and ZSP will start holding meetings and have an infopoint in the building. We declare our full support for this initiative, the squatters and the tenant who refused to move! 

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Sunday 10 April 2011

Hands off our Flats!

Protest against the proposed amendment of the Act on the "Protection" of Tenants' Rights. April 29, 16:00.

Proposed changes include:
  • giving the city the power to charge higher rents in more "attractive" neighbourhoods and buildings
  • limiting their obligations to provide social housing to people who have been evicted
  • taking any the rights of relatives living in a flat to take over a lease after the main tenant has deceased (usually this relates to children)
  • changing municipal leases from an indefinite period to a set time, with periodic income checks
These changes will hit the working poor the most, especially the last one as the income limit to qualify to public housing is completely unrealistic!

We say, stop speculation, stop the attacks on low-income people and one public housing! Housing is not a profit-making commodity - it is a basic human need!

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Informational Actions April 23-25

ZSP is organizing informational actions for immigrant workers in the last two weeks of April. On the days 23-25 of April, visits are planned to fruit orchards, wholesale markets and construction sites where there are predominantly immigrant workers, including places which are known for their abusive practices. With these actions, we hope to both expose the topic to a wider audience (as it is little discussed in Poland, where this labour remains partly invisible) and to help inform workers of their rights, what they can do if they are violated and encourage them to organize!
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Friday 8 April 2011

Shut Down Frontex! Against All Borders!

Against Capitalism and the State, Long Live International Solidarity!!!

May 16-23 in Warsaw, we are organizing events against the borders, in favour of international solidarity. We aim to spread the idea that the existence of borders and the logic of nationalism keeps us divided. As workers much is determined by where we live, or where we come from. The system is forcing us to compete, instead of unite in our struggle.

The events planned include film screenings, discussions, meetings, lectures, streets meetings and a demonstration at the headquarters of Frontex, the EU border agency.

ZSP plans to organize several discussions and panels, including the following topics: Migration Control and the Labour Markets of Europe, the Situation of Immigrant Workers in Poland, Immigrant Labour Organizing and EU immigration policy and Libya.

The days are co-organized with the collective RAS (Radical Solidarity Action).
More information soon!

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Wednesday 6 April 2011

Tenants Protest Against Evictions

On April 4, tenants protested in front of the City Hall against evictions. Members of ZSP and the Tenants' Defence Committee took part in the protest. One of our comrades informed those gathered that the government would like to amend the Act on the Protection of the Rights of Tenants. Last time they tried it, we managed to block it - and we have to aim for the same results again! The amendment includes, amongst other things, giving the city the power to set differential rates, according to the location of the building and condition. This means that any tenant who, by accident, wound up in a "more attractive" neighbourhood, may be subject to huge rent increases. Another thing they would like to do is to make the rental agreements for a set time - not indefinite as it is today. And they will be checking people's income and kicking out people who earn "too much".

Although the city is trying to argue that they are getting rid of "the rich" to give housing to the poor, these changes will effect mostly the working poor, since the income criteria for public housing is totally unrealistic in this city! Practically anybody who earns slightly more than the minimum wage is not eligible to receive public housing, but this amount is far to little to live on! In addition, kicking more and more people out of public housing will just inflate the rates on the private housing market, which is overburdened and does not correspond to people's abilities to pay.

We called on people to take part in a demonstration on April 29 against this amendment!
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