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New Slave Labour Case at JW Construction Site

The public prosecutor for the North Praga district is investigating the case of Uzbek workers employed through a subcontractor to work on a housing estate built by JW Construction. Two workers, 19 and 21 years old, were arrested for theft on Friday. As it turns out, the workers hadn't been made and were given only a zloty a day pocket money. They were so hungry that the police fed them before interrogation.

Stranded Workers Return to China

After weeks of uncertainty, a group of more than 50 Chinese workers stranded in Warsaw will be going home.

The workers were recruited by different work agencies in China to come work in Warsaw on building sites owned by JW Construction. JW has been hiring foreign workers on this basis for the last couple of years, And more and more of them are being cheated by work agencies and left without pay.

Chinese Workers Face Deportation from Poland

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About 50 Chinese workers are camped out in front of the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw. They did not receive any pay for three months, eventually went on strike and were fired.

The situation of the approx. 50 workers camped out in front of the Chinese Embassy is not unique. There are at least 400 others in a similar situation.

Volvo uses the Crisis to Exploit Workers


Unions at the Volvo factory in Wroclaw, led by Solidarity, signed an agreement with the firm some while ago negotiating new work contracts during the "crisis". Last year the Volvo plant in Tampere was closed to move production of 8700 model buses to Wroclaw. Shortly afterwards, the company started to talk about "the crisis" and about redunancies - even though it had just moved production there from Finland.

Uzbek workers walk out in Gliwice

17 workers from Uzbekistan walked off the job a couple of days ago and are living in tents and shacks in Gliwice (Silesia). The people came in April to work on a construction site but received much less money than they were promised in Uzbekistan.

(Venezuela) Enough killings and repression of workers in struggle!


This past May 5 union leader Argenis Vasquez, organizing secretary in the union at Toyota’s plant in Cumana, was gunned down by thugs as he left his house. This assassination occurred just after a month-long strike demanding improvements. The murdered worker was a leader of the protest and key in confrontations with the company and the management. It all looks like the unofficial “answer” by a company unable to impose its will on the strikers.

Serbian labour leader warns of 'total chaos' as strikes loom

Simmering discontent among Serbian workers threatens to explode into "chaos" in the coming autumn, a labour leader warned in an interview published Monday. "Serbia faces an escalation of discontent," the head of the Nezavisnost labour union, Branislav Canak, told the daily Press. "The situation is tense and may lead to total chaos."

With much of Serbia's economy still in state ownership and in poor shape and simple labour stoppages ineffective, workers have resorted to road blockades, hunger strikes and even self-mutilation. A labour protest leader chopped off his own finger in April.

Strike in Rybnik Psychiatric Hospital Continues

Nurses and other staff from the psychiatric hospital in Rybnik have been on strike for two weeks already. (See our earlier article for more background on the situation.) The strike seems to have spread; currently 150-200 workers are taking part in it, the original strikers having been joined by medical technicians. The workers are demanding pay raises which were promised in 2007 and the dismissal of the director of the hospital.

Workers in Altai Seize Tractors

Workers from the Alttrak factory in Altai (Russia) haven't received their salaries since October last year. So they have appropriated 9 tractors produced in the factory. The workers say that they are holding the tractors until they get their salaries.

The workers note that 51 tractors and 17 combines have been transported from the factory in the past months and they estimate their value at 100 million roubles.

The workers claim they have appealed to different authorities but still haven't been paid.

Polish workers take Adecco to Court in Norway

The case of Polish workers who sued the Adecco temporary work agency will be starting in court June 15. They accuse the company of failure to pay overtime, mobbing, discrimination and physical violence.

The workers arrive in Norway in 2007. They went to earn money and were not adverse to working extra hours. They had read in the brochure distributed by Adecco in Poland that employees of Adecco in Norway can work until 9PM and will receive 50% extra for overtime.

ITUC's Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights on Line Now

ITUC's Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights is on line now. According to the report, 76 unionists were killed in 2008, mostly in Latin America: 49 in Colombia, nine in Guatemala, four in Venezuela, three in Honduras and one in Panama. The report also said several dozen nations used death threats or assaults against unionists and that nine countries - Turkey, China, Iran, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Burma, Cuba, South Korea and Indonesia - imprisoned people for legitimate union activity.

Turkey Worst Country for Unionists

The International Trade Union Confederation [ITUC] released a report this week reporting 7,500 cases of the dismissal of workers involved in trade union activity in 68 countries around the world. The report shows the scale of repression against trade unions, but it is important to note that it is not comprehensive. The true number of dismissed workers is even higher.

Turkey had the worst record out of the 68 countries. More than 2000 cases of dismissal of unionists were documented there.

Doctors and Nurses Divided: Rybnik Conflict Highlights Problem

For several years now, doctors and nurses, have been often divided by a salary gap and differing working conditions, and also tend to be organized in different trade unions acting independantly of one another. They have often negotiated working conditions seperately and hospitals have taken full advantage of these divisions. Doctors and other medical professionals have in recent years been more likely to receive pay raises and settle industrial disputes, even when their colleagues working as nurses have not had their demands met.

Coca Cola Workers Union in Barnaul


At the end of April, a union was formed at the Coca Cola plant in Barnaul, Russia. The union immediately made contact with other unions in Coca Cola, as well as the Nestle workers' union in Barnaul. It also plans to join the IUF.

The workers have been upset about the way the plant is being managed, including unfair dismissals, inconvient working hours, unpaid overtime and no cost of living wage increases.

Impressive growth in Poland but people still losing work


If one doesn't understand how capitalism works, the two following statistics might seem contradictory. Eurostat reported that Poland had 1.9% economic growth in the first quarter of 2009. In the same quarter, more than 300,000 people lost their jobs.