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On Saturday March 29, about 800-1000 people demonstrated against the installation of a US missile base in northern Poland. Members of the Union of Syndicalists were co-organizers of this manifestation. The base, which the governments of the US and Poland would like to build in Redzikowo, just outside of Slupsk near the Baltic Sea, would house elements of the American Missile Defense program, namely so-called interceptor missiles (which can also be used for offensive purposes. Despite the fact that 60% of local residents and over half of all Poles are strongly against the base, and only a small fraction of the rest support it, the government is intent to go ahead and build the base. A radar base is also to be built in the Czech Republic, again despite the opposition of most citizens.

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The Union of Syndicalists (ZSP) Warsaw group visited the Colombian embassy in Warsaw on March 6 for the protest against state-sponsored violence in that country. Protests, called for by the National Movement of Victims and backed by human rights groups, trade unions and families of victims, were held in over 180 cities around the world.

ZSP wanted especially to draw attention to the violence against trade unionists and the involvement of the state, corporations, paramilitaries and even the US government in the killing, tortures, beatings and harrassment of unionists. The ZSP activists brought pictures of murdered unionists to decorate the embassy with and spoke about the general situation as well as specific cases in firms such as Chiquita, Coca Cola, Drummond and Nestle.

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Members of the Union of Syndicalists along with comrades from the Anarchist Federation and some others held an action / solidarity picket in and in front of an Auchan supermarket in Warsaw on Jan. 25. The action was held because of Auchan's poor labour practices which include:

- low pay
- wide use of contract labour in their supermarkets and incidents of using work agencies which did not signvalid contracts with employees, among other abuses
- bad social policy
- bad working hours including the illegal use of underaged workers forcing them towork overnight shifts
- forcing people to perform physically dangerous work, for example dragging pallets which are too heavy, and work which causes repetitive strain injury
- repression of people agitating for the creation of unions, including the recent firing in Zielona Gora of one activist from the group Workers' Initiative

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zspmap.png

International Secretariat
is [at] zsp.net.pl

Secretariat
info [at] zsp.net.pl

Sections of ZSP

Lower Silesia
(Wrocław and area)
dolnyslask [at] zsp.net.pl

Upper Silesia
(Katowice, Jaworzno, Gliwice)
gornyslask [at] zsp.net.pl

Multi-Branch Union Warsaw
(Education, IT, Agency Workers, Citibank, Restaurants and Hotels)
warszawa [at] zsp.net.pl

Łódz Region
(Łódz, Belchatow)
lodz[at]zsp.net.pl

Opole
opole [at] zsp.net.pl

Wielkopolski Region
wlkp [at] zsp.net.pl

Health Care Workers Union
(Krakow, Bielsko-Biała)
sluzba-zdrowie[at]zsp.net.pl

Branch Unions of ZSP

Education

edukacja [at] zsp.net.pl

IT

informatyka [at] zsp.net.pl

Health Care Workers

zsp-zdrowie [at] zsp.net.pl

Specific Companies

Dino Supermarkets
dino [at] zsp.net.pl

Citibank
citibank[at]zsp.net.pl

Amazon
amazon[at]zsp.net.pl

Post Office
poczta[at]zsp.net.pl

MarcPol
info [at] zsp.net.pl

Local Contacts

Łódzkie
lodz[at]zsp.net.pl

Małopolskie
krakow[at]zsp.net.pl

Podkarpackie
rzeszow[at]zsp.net.pl

Pomorskie
gdynia[at]zsp.net.pl

Warmia i Mazury
nidzica[at]zsp.net.pl

Wielkopolskie
konin [at] zsp.net.pl

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On Friday the Wroclaw section of 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.

ZSP members and supporters 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.

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Budryk Miners have been on strike since Dec. 17th. Click here for more information and a translation of the miners' appeal.

The miners are fighting for equal pay. Their state-owned mine is going to be merged with a larger state-owned group, JSW, the largest coal producer in Europe. Despite the fact that the Budryk workers are extremely efficient, they found out their salaries would be up to 200 euros less a month than their colleagues at JSW.

The Board at Budryk announced on New Year's Day that it sent a letter to the state security agency and the prosecutor's office about the strikers. They claim that the strikers are causing financial losses for the state treasury and have committed "crimes" during the strike.

Please show your solidarity with the striking miners by sending a solidarity letter. Here are some sample letters:

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We are writing to express our solidarity with the workers of Frape-Behr who are fighting to maintain their workplaces. We understand that this case will be discussed on January 2. We are asking the Generalitat not to accept the labour force adjustment plan (ERE) and the company to reconsider the firings.

As we understand, the Behr company is in good financial standing and has improved its market position and profits, in large part by pursuing cheap labour practices in places such as Mexico, the Czech Republic, India, South Africa and China. According to Behr’s annual report, Frape Behr increased sales in 2006 by 5.5% to 365 million euros (one million euros per day!). Behr predicts even more growth in the future. Due to the healthy financial performance of the company, and due to the fact that Frape Behr was to start new projects with the Japanese and Turkish markets, we understand that this labour force “adjustment” is not neccessitated by real financial problems but represents rather a global tendency to seek cheap labour in order to maximize corporate profits.

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On Dec. 8-9 the second congress of ZSP was held in Wroclaw. The first Congress, held in March 2007, was the founding Congress in Gliwice at which the general ideas of association were discussed.

People from 8 cities were in attendance. The following topics were discussed and decided at the Congress:

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