Sunday 13 May 2012

Case of Jerzy Madziarowicz-MIX reopened

In November 2011, a young worker, Karol M., suffered at accident at work on a construction site in Warsaw. He was employed illegally and did not have proper safety equipment, not even a helmet. He fell into a coma. The owner of the temporary work agency Jerzy Madziarowicz-MIX (also related to the property where the accident occurred) denied that Karol worked for him. The family, which was faced with the double horror of the accident and the financial consequences (since Karol was not insured), decided to fight, so that other workers would not be harmed by Madziarowicz and to get compensation for Karol.

Luckily, Karol regained consciousness and is undergoing rehabilitation. But he is far from well. However, the family is deterred from making a civil case against Madziarowicz because the State Labour Inspectorate and Public Prosecutor's office usually do nothing in cases like this, leaving workers and their families to fend for themselves. And then lawyers argue that the Prosecutor's office "found nothing" and therefore their clients are not guilty of anything.

Neither of these institutions wanted to do anything about the case. If it weren't for the persistence of the family and some support from us, they would have ignored the whole thing. As it is, they tried to close the case. Thanks to an appeal, there is now a court ruling to reopen the investigation. There was also a new report on the case on the radio. We hope that other workers hear about it in this way and think carefully before accepting illegal jobs in construction. However, we know the reality in Poland of tens of thousands of unemployed labourers trying to get any job to survive. And the hundreds of shady "agencies" and "employers" that use them, exposing them to risk, with no insurance and little pay. We hope that this case can highlight this problem and that these agencies will understand that they cannot get away with murder with no consequences. And that the workers will get together and fight in mutual self-defense.