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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-20-08 10:16 AM
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Poland: Solidarity Picket in Wroclaw

Poland: Solidarity Picket in Wroclaw

Tue, 15 Jan 2008

Auchan fires union activist after protest

On Friday the Wroclaw section of
the Union of Syndicalists (ZSP) held a solidarity picket for a fired activist of
Workers' Initiative in front of an Auchan supermarket. The activist was fired
from Auchan in Zielona Gora shortly after there was an action demanding better
wages and work conditions there.

On December 31 Auchan hipermarket in
Zielona Gora fired Piotr Krzyzaniak, an activist of Workers' Initiative Trade
Union, on disciplinary grounds. On December 15th there was the rally in front of
the Zielona Gora Auchan demanding better working conditions.

Piotr Krzyzaniak is the 9th activist of the Workers' Initiative fired for union activity.

ZSP members and supporters in Wroclaw organized a picket. (Other cities will
organize pickets only in two weeks has WI asked for actions to be done then.)
The activists gave out a few hundred leaflets and had a banner which read
"Enough Repression for Workers' Activism". After some 40 minutes, a security
guard tried to verbally intimidate the protestors and asked them to follow him
inside the building. The protestors ignored him. About 15 minutes later, all the
leaflets were already gone and the activists were ready to go home when the
guard came back with 8 of his colleagues and the director of security. They
tried to threaten the activists which made them resolve to stay.

The activists turned the main entrance of the supermarket into an arena for
discussion on exploitation in the market. They also discussed the meaning of
freedom of speech and assembly and public spaces. The head of security for some
strange reason tried to convince the activists to take their protest to the
Voivoidship Office, where she claimed those types of protests belong and, when
that failed, claimed that they had the "wrong Auchan" and that supermarket was
owned by "a different Auchan". The security guards' boss claimed that
"repression of workers was something that existed under Stalinism" and that
"these days if somebody is repressed, it's his own fault and it means that he's
a loser". The ZSP activists tried to ask the security guards how much they earn
and how much their bosses earn. The head of security intervened and tried to
claim that security guards earn less than supermarket cashiers. She also said
she was a member of Solidarity union and claimed that "workers don't need
crusaders like you". When she ran out of arguments, she decided to offer ZSP
activists immediate employment in Auchan... as security guards. (!)

The security people claimed they really need workers as there are too many
vacancies. ZSP activists pointed out that this must be a testament to the
working conditions in the firm if nobody wants to work there. The activists
responded that it is more likely that one day the security guards will join them
than that they will join the security guards.

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