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Negotiations in Belchatow Hospital

On June 16, there was a meeting of workers, local authorities, the lawyer for the city, the State Labour Inspectorate and the Director of the hospital in the Belchatow hospital where a group of workers have been protesting for some weeks. Other representatives of the ZSP Health Workers Union took part. The meeting was the result of protest actions last week when the workers went to the Voivodship office in Lodz, demanding action on their situation. Unfortunately, neither the company which the women were employed through, Naprzód, or the subsequent contractor dared to show up at the meeting.

The women were cleaners and food servers in the hospital. These services were outsourced and the women had work contracts through Naprzód. When the contract changed, that company claimed they'd be transferred, but the new service provider did not take the women to work, leaving them without any employment, but also without any unemployment benefits as they technically had not been terminated.

One of the results of the meeting was that a new meeting was held on June 17 at the Ministry of Labor. The aim of this meeting is to get around the fact that the women have not been officially terminated and to get financial help for them until the situation is resolved.

The Director of the hospital, Mirosław Leszczyński, seemed very dissatisfied with the fact that the hospital is considered a part of the conflict, trying to brush the thing off as a conflict between contractors and their staff, as if the women weren't really working at the hospital. He referred to letters that came to the hospital from around the world about the workers. But he was forced to withdraw his threats against the workers. After the last protests, he was threatening to have them removed from the hospital by force.

The Director in the end admitted that the women worked well but he refused to consider the possibility that they be directly employed through the hospital. When asked why, he could not give precise reasons.

In the meanwhile, another public tender is being held. The company which did not take the women to work will no longer be rendering services for the hospital. We demand that a condition of the tender be that the women are re-employed. The Director said that it may take as long as a month to resolve the issue of the new tender. In the meanwhile, the women want to work and continue their sit in at the hospital. They have declared together that they will not agree to work on worse conditions or on trash contracts.

The ZSP will try to make pressure to speed up the financial help for the women and declare the organization of new protests related to the contracting companies, which refuse to take any responsibility in this situation.

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