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Salaries for Construction Workers Can Vary Dramatically

Today the people who make the Polish Salary Survey released statistics about salaries in the construction industry.

The methodology of the report is not clear. The firm which makes the report has an online questionnaire. It is not clear whether their data comes only from the online questionnaire or from other research, and, if so, how many people they have interviewed.

Agreement with PKP Regional Lines Management

A group of railway workers who were on hunger strike in Warsaw have made an agreement and suspended their strike last night. 10 workers were on strike as a protest against dismissals in PKP Regional Lines.

The strikers apparently agreed that PKP, which wants to carry out dismissals, will carry out group dismissals with severance pay and that workers dismissed will get job training to help get other jobs.

The compensation packet should be negotiated and agree on by January 13 or else the unionists will resume again.

Employees from other part of the PKP (Polish National Railways) group, received better deals. For example, in PKP Cargo employees received 40,000 zloties severance pay.

PKP Workers on Hunger Strike ... again

10 workers from PKP Regional Lines went on hunger strike in Warsaw on December 14. None of the management wants to talk to them. The Finance Director of the company, Malgorzata Kuczewska-Laska even said "let them starve:.

The protestors wrote in a communique:

"The reason we are taking such radical action is that the employer has been giving notice to employees for reasons not related to their work. And this is done intentioanally ignoring the procedure for group dismissals, without any severance pay or programs to help dismissed employees. They plan to dismiss 1500 employees."

The hunger strikers want the employers to abide by an agreement made in May and not to dismiss people.

Berlin: Demonstration for the Freedom to Unionize a Success


300 people demonstrated against the court decision prohibiting the FAU Berlin from calling itself a union.

Case of Striking Nurses Repressed in Lodz comes to a close - but the struggle for the right to strike continues


On December 11, four nurses from the Barlicki Hospital in Lodz were in court in relation to a strike held in the hospital in September 2008.

In April 2009, the four nurses, all unionists, were fired in retaliation for the strike. The strike, which lasted 11 days, saw demands for a pay increase. The nurses demanded salaries of between 2000-3500 zloties a month (450-800 euro at the time), depending on position and experience.

New Attacks on Trade Union Pluralism

This week a draft bill was submitted which would amend the law on trade unions. The government would like to hit small trade unions hard by raising the level needed to represent workers in collective bargaining procedures and other forms of representation to 33% of the workplace.

Wildcat strikes of Czech workers in Hyundai and Dymos get massive attention

Around 20 workers left the welding shop in Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech in Nošovice near Frýdek-Místek (Czech Republic) during their shift on Tuesday 1st of December 2009. One day later there was an hourly wildcat strike in assembly hall at the same company. On 3rd December workers in Huyndai subcontactor Dymos organised an hourly work stoppage too. On 7th December the union called a “strike emergency” (a symbolic pre-strike measure to warn the management that unless they start negotiations a real strike action will be called) in Hyundai.

Hospitals Run out of Money to Treat Patients

Yesterday the Polish Union of Doctors held a press conference at which they announced that many hospitals must turn away patients because they had already reached their budget limits as set by the National Health Fund (NFZ).

Hospitals, whose budgets were slashed and who are under tremendous pressure to stay clear of debt, were often underfunded, meaning that money for patient treatment ran out in October. In many hospitals, only emergency rooms are working.

New Railway Workers' Protest Against Tranfer of Jobs

Polish Railways (PKO) decided to transfer jobs from three sections, including the cities of Siedlce and Walbrzych, to Warsaw.

Transfers are usually used as a way to liquidate jobs without compensation. If jobs are cut in group dismissals, PKP would have to pay out a redundancy package. If they transfer your job to another city and you refuse to you, the consider that you somehow "quit" and you are not entitled to anything.

Workers from Siedlce are already planning protest actions. There will be a hunger strike and blokade of the railway tracks.

38,000 zloties for Hunger Strike

A Polish court has ordered a worker from the Rudna mine in Glogow to pay 38,000 zl. (9,500 euros) to cover "damages" caused by his hunger strike in July 2007.

In fact, no "damages" were actually incurred. The costs are related to the fact that the mine claims it paid emergency workers... to keep an eye on the miner. And the bosses decided to charge the protestor for his protection.

Dariusz Kwiatkowski protested because the firm decided to pay out all the profits as dividends. As a unionist, he felt that some of the profits should go towards improving pay in the mine.

Unions in PKP cancelled strike - and PKP started cutting jobs

A strike planned for last Thursday at the Polish National Railways (PKP) was cancelled since 11 unions had worked at a compromise with the management. This included a guarantee of the number of people employed in Regional Carriers, in locations which would not be liquidated. It had earlier been announced that 4 of the regional centers would be closed.


Unfortunately, in Bialystok the management presented the union which information that it wanted to dismiss 56 people and that this number could rise to 90.

Russia: Go Slow in General Motors

Workers at the GM plant in Petersburg are in the midst of a work slowdown. Last week they started working "very carefully". Production dropped by one third.

The workers have several demands for the factory: they would like to be guaranteed normal, 40-hour work weeks, get raises at the rate of inflation plus 8 percent and would like to take vacation when they want - not when management sends them (usually during the slow season).

The management of GM are denying that the workers action in taking place, but unionists have published statements with the workers' demands.

Workers from Cooper Standard Automotive have to work on holiday to impress American

500 workers from Cooper Standard Automotive Polska are being forced to work during tomorrow's public holiday to impress American Michael Talaga who will visit the factory in Bielsko Biala.

The labour law in unfavourable to production workers. The bosses may force such work and are only obliged to give another day off.

Hundreds of people will be forced to deal with the inconvenience of arranging alternative transport to the reduced public transport or will have to forego a day off with their children and find child care all to impress the heartless big wig.

Workers at National Stadium Construction Site not Paid; Work Stoppage Immiment

Workers at the construction site of the National Stadium in Warsaw, being built for UEFA 2012, are having trouble getting paid. There have already been some strikes and walkouts. More and more people are quitting their jobs and more work stoppage is immiment.

The work organization at the Stadium is so complex and some workers are not even sure who they are working for.

Some of the workers have no contracts at all.

Hunger Strike in PKP Group


Workers from the PKP ZLK in Gliwice have started a hunger strike.

The ZLKs are part of the PKP-PLK division of the Polish State Railways. PKP-PLK wants to close ten regional centers. After negotiations with the unions, PKP agreed to liquidate only 4 of the regional centers. But they decided to close the largest one, in Gliwice, which employs 1700 people.