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Unoffical strike in auto-sector in Czech

300 workers were on strike because of wages in factory owned by company Grammer in town Most (North Czech) today. The strike which was organized by workers themselves was started by morning shift and joined by afternoon shift.

Under the pressure of management strikers called off the strike during the afternoon, called strike emergency and promised that they will make up lost time during extraordinary shifts.

The reason behind the action was new salary allotment, which mean for some workers decline of wages by 3 – 5 thousand crown per month. Present wages in the factory amount 12 thousand – 21 800 crowns per month (overtime bonuses and company benefits included) before taxation. Company benefits amount about 50 percents of wage.

After the threat by bosses…

Deadly Health and Safety Problems at the National Stadium Construction Site

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Members of the Polish Union of Syndicalists (ZSP) are documenting safety violations at the construction site of the National Stadium in Warsaw.

One problem relates to lack of proper safety lines and nets for all workers. The site is being built by many different subcontractors, and not every one is complying with standards. The next problem is lack of training for unskilled workers who theoretically shouldn't be doing any dangerous jobs, but in reality are exposed to different hazards. The last problem, which is sorry to note, is that workers are allowed to work even if they have been drinking. This seems to be more problematic on the night shift; construction goes on at the site until 3AM.

Russia: Duma wants to combat protest tactic

A bill was introduced to the Russian Parliament (the Duma) that would boost fines and introduce prison terms for protesters who block roads. Blocking roads is a popular form of protest for workers.

A demonstrator who blocks a road would be punished by a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,370) or up to two years in prison. Such fines are enormous compared to workers' salaries.

The current fine, rarely imposed, is up to $50.

President Dmitry Medvedev has already warned governors that they face dismissal if they don’t keep protesters away from major roads.

Situation with Panda Production at Fiat Tychy

The managers of FIAT would like to have more autos produced in Italy. In particular, they would like to move part of the production of the Fiat Panda from Poland to Italy. The Minister of Economic Development, Paolo Scaiola, has been pressing on FIAT for months to increase production in Italy. Fiat invested a large sum in modernizing a plant there 2 years ago.

It is not clear whether Fiat expects the taxpayers to foot the bill for this. This planned move in production defies the capitalists' typical logic of producing things cheaply. The production output levels for the 22,000 workers in several factories in Italy is practically identical to the output of the Tychy factory - with only 6100 workers. Who are cheaper.

The PKS Wielun Company Store

Merchandise coupons and vouchers are great tax avoidance vehicles for companies which wish to compensate their employees without raising their salaries or the cost of social benefits related to salaries. Employers especially like to give these out around Christmas time instead of a cash bonus.

The workers at PKS (the main Polish bus company) in Wielun were, like most, happy to get free merchandise coupons this year. However, it turned out that they could only be redeemed at the company store.

And, not surprisingly, the prices there are much higher than any place else in town.

What a great scam the bosses are on to! Not only to they save money on taxes, but by overcharging their employees at the company shop, they get the money they spent on coupons back with a hefty profit.

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

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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

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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.