Tuesday 3 April 2012

Demonstration against Privatization of School Cafeterias

Today we demonstrated against the privatization of  school cafeterias in Warsaw. Both parents and cooks participated in the demo. The cooks talked about how the catering companies offer jobs on trash contracts and in the areas where the jobs are done by outside service providers, there is an extremely high turnover. They suppose that the workers are used a short time on temp contracts and changed. One cook complained that she has been working over 30 years and now is at risk of losing her job. She is over 50 and noted that it is very hard for women like her to find other work. Parents complained on the other hand about increased costs and the increased likelihood that the private companies would try to save a lot of money by serving smaller portions, serving leftovers or using worse ingredients in the food.

Both groups complained that the city spends money on stadiums, fountains and bonuses for bureaucrats while cutting costs on education and the needs of children, passing on the expenses to working people.

We marched with the Educational Accord and Democratic Students Association and various other groups came to lend their support.

ZSP has also propagated the idea of the possible collectivization of these school kitchens, which normally employ 3-4 people and could be self-managed. Some parents and cooks like this idea and we will see if they decide to pursue it. We offered support if any workplace decides on this, with a view to not working as a capitalist business, but as a real collective.