Sunday 13 May 2012

Picket at Empik

On May 13, ZSP picketed at another Empik bookstore in Warsaw, kicking off a national campaign against the chain.  Contact with Empik workers started a couple of years ago when we received many denounciations against the firm from people around Poland during the "Worst Employer of the Year" contest. Every year, more and more employees wrote with the same complaints: unpaid overtime work, being forced to work while ill, having trash contracts, being forced to do heavy or dangerous work, lack of proper health and safety measures and mobbing. Now a few employees around Poland want to fight back and one is even suing the chain for unpaid overtime. And we offer our support to them and all workers who would like to organize.

Quite a number of workers are now promoting this campaign, although, fearing repression, many prefer to act covertly or through the internet, where they are active telling about their conditions and fighting with Empik PR agents who are attacking all fora where they are present.

We are hoping that they will persevere. Organizing in such workplaces is not yet successful in Poland and many of the workers treat this as a temporary shit job until something better comes along. With the campaign we hope to undermine the notion that shit jobs have a place on the market, arguing that all work should be properly paid and that people should speak out against the abuse that is common in the retail sector.