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ZSP on Labour Action 29 September

ZSP will be a critical participant in the labour action against austerity to be held 29 September in Warsaw.

The main unions, Solidarity and OPZZ call for a symbolic protest, which is not even a strike. Austerity measures of all sorts, reforms in the Labour Code and Act on Trade Unions are hitting workers with huge force, yet all the unions call for is a few hours of protest. These unions even do not encourage workers on a large scale to take a day off and go to the protest: their armies of paid union activists will lead the protest instead. Despite this, we know that some groups of rank and file workers from supermarket chains (who want to strike and are held back by the unions) and the railways will be there - so we will too.

Occupation of Hospital Cleaners Against Precarity

Yesterday, a group of hospital cleaners from the Specialized Hospital in Dabrowa Gornicza had a meeting with their new bosses at the Municipal Office in the presence of members of the City Council. The workers are trying to get the city involved in the fate of the hospital staff since it is a public hospital. Still the President of the City claims they are "not a party" in the conflict.

The problem is that the hospital outsourced their work six years ago. The workers became employees of a private firm called Aspen. In the last public tender, a firm called Naprzod won and will now be their employer.

Workers Fired for not Wanting to Work for Free


Workers from ZEFAM furniture factory in Nowe Miasteczko in the west of Poland were given disciplinary dismissals because they asked when the would get paid.

ZEFAM stands for Zielona Gora Furniture Factory. Workers there had not received salaries for months. Some had not been paid for four months and nobody was receiving overtime payments. On August 19, the workers asked about this. The manager went to consult with the director of the firm, Marek Cierpka. Then he told the workers to "go home". They didn't want to, but the manager shut down the production hall. After some time of not knowing what to do, the workers went home.

A new philosoFiat at Pomigliano factory, Italy

If eight hours don't seem enough for you (original title of the article), try to work at an assembly line from ten o'clock at night till six o'clock in the morning with three breaks of ten minutes. With the lunch break taking place during the last half an hour of your shift, unless productive recoveries are needed.

Send Protest to Cadbury Poland

Pawel Jedlinski had an accident at work and reported problems with safety procedures to the State Labour Inspectorate. The was subsequently harrassed at work, denied a promotion and later his contract was not renewed.

The management did not want Pawel to report his accident. They are, by law, required to do so but, like many companies, refuse to do so and try to cover up that accidents happened.

A protest to Cadbury can be sent through this page:

Strikes at Fiat and Letter of Solidarity from Poland

A series of strikes has been taking place this week at Fiat plants throughout Italy.

Today there were strikes related to Fiat's decision to cut bonuses this year.

Tomorrow, Fiom and some other unions are calling for a four-hour strike throughout Italy. The strike is in protest of the sacking of four unionists in retaliation for not signing the Pomigliano deal.

Workers in Tychy, Poland were angry to learn that a unionist at the Mirafiori factory in Turin, Pino Capozzi, was fired for sending out the letter they had written using email at work. They send the following letter of solidarity:

Solidarity from Poland

Colleagues at Fiat Italy!

We admire and support your struggle against serious attacks on your working conditions and your basic human rights and freedoms.

Important Ruling of Constitutional Tribunal for Trade Union Activists

In September 2009, eight workers who had joined the newly established branch of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity at Officina Labour were dismissed just four days after the existence of the union was announced. (Officina Labor was a warehouse for Torfarm pharmacueticals which today is called Neuca; Officina Labour has been renamed Neuca Logistyka.)

Based in Rzgów (Łódź) the company employed almost 400 people. Workers had no extra pay for weekend work, their bonuses were cut and in August 2009 there was an industrial accident which injured 4 people. Furthermore, all had been feeling increasing insecurity about their jobs.

Carrefour Poland Humiliates Workers


Workers in Carrefour supermarkets around Poland are complaining about the introduction of a new element in the "organization of work": a large red circle found on the floors of markets where workers are supposed to stand to "discuss issues" with the management. Workers in one Lublin market were the first to expose that, among the reasons workers should stand on the circle is to get permission to go to the toilet.

Workers have pointed out the absurdity of the situation where they have to stand 5-10 minutes waiting for a manager to show up at the red circle and give them permission to use the toilet when it is faster just to take a break. People are complaining that the procedure is totally humiliating.

Fiat Looking for State Subsidy

Fiat, which has started downsizing and cutting hours at its Tychy plant, has asked the Polish government for almost 40 mln. zloties in state aid to start production of the Lancia Ypsilon at the factory. Some government officials have commented that Fiat already gets significant tax breaks.

Fiat Tychy Starts Downsizing

The Fiat factory in Tychy will not prolong contracts for 60 workers. They want to get rid of at least 350 workers employed on fixed-term contracts by the end of the year. Fiat currently employs about 1000 such people out of a workforce of 6500.

There were also be some stops in production. From September-December, the production lines will be shut down at least 13 days. There will also be a 14-day stoppage in August.

Both the management of the factory and the government promised that there would be no job loss at Fiat if production of the Panda was moved to Italy.

Krakow: Workers Left Hanging in Hospital Commericalization

Starting July 1, the Rydygier hospital in Krakow is to become the first fully commericalized hospital in the Malopolska Vojevodship. Even though this is to happen in only a few days, workers at the hospital have no idea what their working conditions will be in this new commerical entity - or whether they will be hired at all. In addition to these problems, there are shadows of corruption related to a tender won by the former vice-director and in general, there is a scandalous mess related to lack of information.

Fiat Tychy Tries to Impose Worse Conditions

The management of FIAT in Tychy are trying to get the unions to agree to even worse working conditions. The company is trying to make use of the "Anti-Crisis Act" to change, among other things, work schedules.

Russia: Ammendment to the Law on Trade Unions

On June 18, the State Duma adopted ammendments to the Law on Trade Unions. The ammendments free employers from several obligations and limitations. Previously, permission from the trade union had to be received in order to fire one of its members or impose disciplinary sanctions. Also, members of unions had certain protection against transfer to other workplaces.

Ammendments to article 25 of the law have now made it easier to fire and transfer union members.

Work Camp in Lower Silesia: Ukrainians not paid for picking strawberries


Authorities in Lower Silesia have uncovered a work camp where 33 Ukrainians (28 women / 5 men) were workng in scandalous conditions. They were supposed to earn 2 zl. (less than 50 euro cents) per basket of strawberries picked. Below we can see an example of wages paid for the period of May 4 - May 31 of this year: 122 zloties net - or about 30 euros for almost one month of work!

Besides this the people lived in cramped conditions with improper sanitation and no working refrigerator. The public prosecutor's office has been informed and the employer faces fines for, among other things violating the labour law, illegally employing people, creating health and sanity risks. He may also face criminal charges.

Picket at H&M in Warsaw

18 June was a picket in the center of Warsaw at HM. The picket was related to two cases of violating workers' rights. The first was in relation to the horrible tragedy at the Garib garment factory in Bangladesh, On February 25, 22 workers were killed in a fire. The workers were locked in the factory and could not escape; on top of that, there were numerous safety violations. The National Garment Workers Federation is calling for compensation for the families of the victims and better safety standards at the factory.

More information: