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Poczta Polska
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After Solidarity signed a measely pay increase for Post Office workers and defended the use of unpaid overtime, the union has come in for harsh criticism for its collaboration.

Over the past couple of years, postal workers from around Poland have been expressing their demands for better working conditions and have been doing so outside of the main unions at the Post Office. Workers see that these unions work more to defend the interests of the employer than the workers. Last year, a series of actions, including work stoppages were held, organized by the workers themselves, outside of the unions. At first, these were mostly actions of mail carriers, but later, other categories of workers also joined in.

Some members of ZSP working at the Post Office engaged in contacting the different groups of workers and together organized a national coordination to put forward demands agreed by workers themselves – not by union bureaucrats with zero accountability to the workforce. In the first of three national meetings, workers set out a list of demands, including a raise, with basic pay to rise to 3200 zloties, payment for overtime work and reorganization of the regions. (Currently, some workers have to cover much more ground than other and the assignment of good or bad regions are often the result of favouritism or used as some form of keeping people in line.) In March, workers organized a series of protests on the same day in 23 cities throughout Poland and then at the beginning of April, a demonstration in Warsaw in which more than 2000 workers participated, making it the largest workers action outside the mainstream unions since the transformation.

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Following the national protest of postal workers in Warsaw on April 8, a national meeting was held the following week in Lodz to formalize the network and adopt a libertarian form of organization, based on our principles of direct democracy, leaderless unions and mandated and recallable delegates.

The meeting was the third national gathering, after the ones in Wroclaw and Warsaw which prepared the demands to the Post Office, the decentralized actions in March and the demonstration in April.

The postal workers would like to push forward their postulates and continue organizing outside the mainstream unions which have continually sidetracked the workers to pact with the bosses. The Post Office does not want to talk about these postulates, relying on the bigger unions not to protest. Instead the PO has stepped up PR about how important it is to improve working conditions, but always claiming they „cannot afford it”. The workers know better and will not back down.

Demands were also sent to the Ministry responsible for the Post Office as well as the government. They have sent them on for discussion but still have made no attempts to talk to the dissatisfied workers.

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On March 23, the HR department of the Polish Post Office sent a letter to the management of the branches instructing them to bother workers about the necessity of caring for the good of the employer. This refers to the activities and protests of postal workers which the management has been trying to squash through scare tactics and repression, including the dismissal of one mailman and the possible dismissal of another.

The letter states:

In relation to the posts put on social media and the Intranet which have offensive comments about managers or their co-workers and into order to extinguish operational risks connected to the workers showing posters about raises during working hours, with the logo of the post office in the background, we inform that the above actions constitute a serious violation of work duties. These violations are set out in art. 100 para.2, pt. 4 of the Labor Code, which is the duty to care about the work place, which is connected with the widely understood interests of the employers (not only financial, which is connected to the obligation that the worker be loyal to the employer.

In light of the above, we ask that you make the workers aware and to take disciplinary measures against those who personally took part in such actions. The workers should be made aware of the fact that the good name and interests of the Post Office have been violated and to inform them that the employer, in justified situations, can terminate the employment agreement for reasons related to the fault of the worker.

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A self-organized movement has revolted against the mainstream unions and is set to continue despite repression.

On March 16, a couple of thousand postal workers from 22 cities in Poland organized the largest decentralized workers actions outside the mainstream unions in recent history. Protests started at 7AM and took place at different hours in the day, with a few reaching several hundred participants. The main demands of the workers are a raise of 1000 zloties and reorganization of the regions.

The working conditions at the post office are tragic, especially for mail carriers. Wages hover just slightly above minimum wage, meaning the basic pay one takes home is a little less than 350 euros. Many mail carriers who have worked 15, 20 or even 30 years earn basically the same. What's worse is that the conditions are hard and most are overworked. With wages at supermarkets now being even 1000 zloties higher, it is very hard to find new people to work there. It is probably for this reason that the government has decided to use prison labor to make up for the shortage.

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Związek Syndykalistów Polski (Związek Wielobranżowy - Warszawa) pragnie odpowiedzieć na komentarze wypowiedziane na nasz temat m.in. przez etatowca z „Solidarności” w Polskim Radiu. Nazywa on syndykalistów „związkiem o niepokojącej proweniencji” i sugeruje, że nasze działania narażają innych związkowców na niekorzystne wyroki sądowe. W związku z tym, chcieliśmy oświadczyć, co następuje:

Wielu związkowców w Polsce spotykają represje ze strony pracodawców za nagłaśnianie spraw o naruszenie praw pracowniczych. Wśród nich są też związkowcy z Solidarności. Wiemy, że „S” nie zawsze broni swoich członków przed represjami i czasami odcina się od nich lub stara się załatwić sprawę „po cichu” kosztem pracowników, dogadując się za ich plecami z pracodawcą. Opisywaliśmy takie sytuacje wielokrotnie.

Wobec ZSP nie zapadł żaden prawomocny wyrok, mimo że kilkukrotnie pracodawcy pozywali nas do sądu. Tak było na przykład w BRW Sofa, gdzie zwolniono związkowca, który nagłośnił naruszenia prawa pracy oraz zasad BHP. Broniliśmy tego pracownika, podczas gdy członkowie Solidarności zeznawali na korzyść pracodawcy, przeciw innym związkowcom. W sądzie wyszło na jaw, że skala problemów była nawet większa, niż opisywał to represjonowany związkowiec.

Etatowcy z Solidarności pewnie rozumieją słowo „solidarność” inaczej niż my, skoro w sytuacji, gdy my solidaryzujemy się z pracownikami Poczty Polskiej, władze „Solidarności” potrafią jedynie nas atakować, sugerując, że stanowimy zagrożenie dla innych związków. Chociaż pracodawcy próbują nas zastraszać, nie udaje im się to. Z drugiej strony, pracownicy dawno utracili wiarę w to, że „Solidarność” będzie ich wspierać, a za ten stan rzeczy „S” może winić tylko siebie.

Jesteśmy ciekawi czego tak naprawdę boją się Solidaruchy? Przecież mają pieniądze i prawników – jeśli ktoś ich pozwie do sądu, będą w stanie się bronić. Dlaczego największa organizacja związkowa boi się pracodawców w sytuacji, gdy my – mała organizacja związkowa - się ich nie obawiamy?

A może boją się, że kiedyś nie będą już w stanie stłumić buntu pocztowców? Ale to jest ich problem, bo ludzie już im nigdy nie zaufają. Jeśli największy związek w Polsce sądzi, że musi agitować przeciw nam, domyślamy się, czego się obawiają. Zamiast słuchać bzdur rozpowszechnianych przez „S”, lepiej się organizować poza jej strukturami.

Związek Syndykalistów Polski - Związek Wielobranżowy Warszawa

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