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Żabka
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Zabka is a chain of convenience stores with over 9000 shops in Poland and shops in the Czech Republic, making it one of the largest convenience store chains in Europe and a major employer in Poland. Unfortunately, it seems like many Zabka franchisees have absolutely no regard for workers' rights and are wage thieves. ZSP has already held numerous successful actions against these stores throughout Poland.

The situation at the Zabka shop on Pulawska St. 116 was particularly heinous for us. The action concerned two workers who were owed over 30,000 zloties (about 7400 euros) from the thieving boss but after the protest, another former worker contacted us and wants to join. The boss did not legally employ them, providing no contract and circumventing all statutory requirements. They had to work too many overtime hours including illegally on Sunday. The workers are underage teenagers who were in a desperate life situation and didn't know what to do. To make matters even worse, before leaving work, when one of the workers confronted the boss, he beat him.

We sent a demand letter and organized a picket. Just before the protest started, the owner ran away. We entered the shop to demand to talk to the owner, but he was not to be found there. The protest lasted over one hour and drew a lot of sympathetic responses from neighbors. Since the owner does not want to face us, we will be returning twice next week and we will keep going until everything is paid.

In the meantime, we note the non-reaction of the Zabka company to the numerous incidents that happen in their franchises. Although the franchise agreements specify numerous things that franchisees must do, ranging from the look of the shops to the way things are put on the shelves, apparently respecting workers is not one of them.

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On May 28, ZSP held a picket at another Zabka convenience store, this time at Motycka St. 23 in Warsaw. In this store, they had people working without a contract, for less than the minimum wage. One worker kept asking about a contract and finally quit, but then found out that the owner didn't even want to pay her anything. We wrote a letter to them demanding the salary owed at the legal minimum wage. Of course we don't want to ever hear again of this kind of exploitation at this shop.

Within a couple of days, the owner paid some money to the worker, but not the full amount. We went to the shop to find the owner not the least bit concerned about the crimes he committed or making sure that people who work there are legally employed. We are sending another demand letter and picket and are hoping the full amount be paid. In the meanwhile, we informed local residents about the situation in this shop and encourage them to avoid shopping there as long as this kind of practice exists.

We will keep reporting cases of abuse in this convenience store chain and taking action against wage thieves.

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28 maja odbyła się pikieta pod sklepem Żabki przy ulicy Motyckiej 23 na Targówku w Warszawie.
W tym sklepie zatrudniali pracowników bez umowy i za stawkę poniżej stawki minimalnej. Jedna z pracownic stale upominała się o umowę, ale gdy jej nie otrzymała, postanowiła nie pracować więcej w takich warunkach. Ajent Żabki, firma Sebastian Knapiuk, odmówił zapłaty wynagrodzenia.

Aktualizacja: pensja została w pełni wypłacona dzień po zakończeniu protestu!

Napisaliśmy list do ajenta z wezwaniem do zapłaty. Ajent zapłacił pewną kwotę, która była niższa, niż obowiązująca minimalna stawka godzinowa za przepracowane godziny. Dlate zorganizowaliśmy pikietę. Przypomnieliśmy, że w Polsce obowiązuje minimalne wynagrodzenie i że trzeba je płacić. Dodaliśmy, że jeżeli ajent nie zamierza płacić nawet tyle, to niech zamknie swój biznes, a ludzie lepiej niech się nie zatrudniają u takiego złodzieja pensji.

Wysyłamy teraz kolejne żądanie zapłaty, domagając się wypłaty zgodnej z prawem stawki minimalnej. Za tydzień planujemy kolejną pikietę pod tym sklepem.

Stop złodziejstwu!
Żabka, nie ujdzie ci to płazem!

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On Sunday April 16, the ZSP Multi-branch Union picketed at two Zabka convenience stores in Warsaw. The first one was at Hemara St. where we went for the first time and the second one at Skrzynieckiego St., where we returned.

During the picket at Skrzynieckiego St., one worker was paid but unfortunately, the second worker was not able to come and did not. After the picket at Hemara St., we learned that a second worker was not paid there. This is very common; if an employer doesn't pay one worker, he or she probably has also cheated somebody else. In this situation, the worker, who explained she is a single mother and cannot pay her bills because of this situation, received a lot of support from the local residents. The Zabka agent (franchisee) paid both of the workers.

This just shows again that it pays to take action. Unfortunately, there are a lot more people out there that are cheated but who we don't have contact with.

On May Day, we will be conducting an informational event in Warsaw where we will try to inform precarious workers of their rights and encourage them to organize. We will be stopping at multiple Zabka stores. Many people in the area of our office have worked in Zabka or other convenience stores at one time or another and some of the stores are using workers illegally, without contracts or proper payment and benefits. We will continue to fight this exploitation on May Day and after!

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On March 19, ZSP Warsaw union held two pickets at two different Zabka stores. Zabka is the largest chain in Poland with almost 9000 shops run by franchise. It is also present in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and is owned by CVC Capital Partners private equity firm. As the company does not care about the working conditions in its shops, many of the shops employ people without giving them contracts, pay them under the table and routinely steal their wages.

The first picket was a shop on ul. Skrzynieckiego. There, two workers were robbed of their wages. One was employed on a contract, the other was never given a contract at all. The workers calculated what they were owed and we sent this information by email. When we delivered a demand letter in person, the agent tore it up. We understand that she believes that she can get away with wage theft, however her actions just make us more determined to inform people about the situation there and keep fighting for the money owed.

The second picket was in Minsk Mazowiecki, near Warsaw. In this situation, the woman who originally wanted to fight actually received her money the day after we announced the picket. One success. However, a woman we know then contacted us that she had also worked there and had her wages stolen. This is a common situation that the thieving bosses usually have more than 1 victim. We went and demanded the money but instead of paying, the agent locked the store. Later she made a false alarm call to the police saying that we were “attacking her”. As we know, the police can protect such thieves but we think this time they were not fooled about what had happened. This is because already many people in Poland know that there are many horrible Zabka agents who rob people's salary.

While this situation continues we will continue to inform the public about what is happening and ask for support of the workers by not patronizing the thieving shops. ZSP has already successfully held numerous actions in and around Warsaw and succeeded in helping more than a dozen people get the money they were owed.

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The Struggle Continues

Another worker from Zabka convenience stores was able to get money which he was owed after ZSP announced it intention to picket the store.

The worker's rights were violated in several ways: first, he was fired for requesting a day off and was not paid for the time he worked in that last month. As it turned out, he also had been receiving less than the minimum wage and was not paid any overtime pay and was illegally employed, with no contract. Besides this, he was subject to working conditions which in Poland are illegal for people under the age of 18.

We decided to make a picket and sent information about the money that he was owed, calculating the difference between the legal minimum wage and what he was receiving.

The day before the picket, the young worker received the money on his account so we considered the conflict closed. However, we still went with a symbolic picket to Zabka because we had already announced it and were not sure everybody who heard about it was informed. Also, we think it is only fair that we stress to the bosses that they cannot silence us about what they are doing.

Zabka is the largest convenience store in Poland. It is rapidly expanding, with over 9000 shops in the country and more than 500 in Warsaw alone. It is owned by the shady CVC Capital Partners, a spin-off of Citigroup. The chain operates as a franchise and we can see that, although there are franchisees who follow the law, Zabka stores very often act in violation of the labor code and cheat workers in various ways. We are aware of many problems occuring at this chain around the company.

Like all franchisers, the owners of the brand try to make us believe that they have nothing to do with the illegal labor practices in their stores but there are no clauses about working conditions in the franchise contract and no contractual penalties for exploiting workers. It isn't that Zabka doesn't put penalties on its franchisees; tons of people have faced huge lawsuits by Zabka for various issues. The company is interested in earning as much as they can and has no qualms taking advantage of their franchisees but we see that working conditions are not on their list of priorities.

In October we organized pickets in Warsaw and in Grodzisk Mazowiecki at Zabka stores and also managed to get payment for other workers whose wages were stolen. (In Polish: https://zsp.net.pl/wygrana-zsp-z-zabka-w-warszawie-i-grodzisku) In the past, we held similar actions at a number of shops in Warsaw and other cities in Poland.

Our union will keep the pressure up on this chain, which is now a major employer in Poland and an employer of people who are vulnerable to exploitation and wage theft.

Workers are not to be screwed with and we will fight back!

ZSP Warsaw

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Z okazji międzynarodowego tygodnia przeciwko niewypłaconym pensjom, organizowanego każdego roku przez Międzynarodowe Stowarzyszenie Pracowników, Związek Syndykalistów Polski - Związek Wielobranżowy Warszawa zorganizował akcje z pracownikami, którzy padli ofiarą tej haniebnej praktyki w sklepach należących do sieci Żabka w Warszawie i w Grodzisku Mazowieckim.

W niedzielę 9 października do sklepu Żabka na ul. Obozowej 58 wybrali się przedstawiciele związku i zaprzyjaźnione osoby celem dostarczenia pisma z postulatami wypłacenia zaległych pensji. Niestety zgodnie z naszymi oczekiwaniami tego dnia nie udało nam się zastać właściciela w sklepie. Pismo odebrała pracownica sklepu pełniące obowiązki związane z handlem w niedzielę niehandlową. Zostałyśmy poinformowane, że właściciela w tym czasie nie ma, ale sklep "musi działać". Po przekazaniu pisma doszła do nas wiadomość, że sklep jednak nie musiał działać i z obawy przed kontrolą został zamknięty.

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Związek Syndykalistów Polski - Związek Wielobranżowy Warszawa protestował w niedzielę 9 października w sprawie niewypłaconego wynagrodzenia w Żabce na ul. Obozowej 58. Pracodawca zalega byłej pracownicy kwotę ponad 5 tys. zł.

Oprócz problemów z niewypłaconym wynagrodzeniem, w tym za nadgodziny, pracownica była nękana wulgarnymi wiadomościami ze strony pracodawców, zmuszana do pracy bez okresu odpoczynku przez dłużej niż 10 dni łącznie. Stosowano też niezgodne z prawem, arbitralne potrącenia z pensji.

Podczas akcji protestacyjnej, grupa protestujących weszła do sklepu, żeby przekazać list z żądaniem zapłaty. Pracodawca był nieobecny, mimo że była to niedziela i powinien osobiście prowadzić sklep. Jednak sklep prowadzili pracownicy, którzy powiadomili szefa o proteście.

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Związek Syndykalistów Polski - Związek Wielobranżowy Warszawa zorganizował w dniu 15 stycznia 2022 protest przeciwko niewypłaconej pensji w Żabce przy al. Jerozolimskich.

Poszkodowana przez pracodawcę pracownica, samotna matka, została zatrudniona przez niego bez żadnej umowy, zwolniona bez zapłaty za przepracowane dni i pozostawiona bez środków do życia przed Świętami Bożego Narodzenia. Pracodawca zbywał ją, unikał z nią kontaktu, oskarżał o rzekome kradzieże, a kiedy przyszła do sklepu po należne jej pieniądze wezwał ochronę.

Choć pracodawca nie był obecny w sklepie podczas pikiety, odbierał telefony od policji i pracowników i był na bieżąco poinformowany o sprawie. Z przyjemnością informujemy, że dzień po pikiecie, ajent Żabki w całości wpłacił zaległe wynagrodzenie na konto pracownicy! Kolejny raz okazało się, że akcje bezpośrednie przynoszą rezultaty, których próżno by było oczekiwać po długich sprawach w sądzie.

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W dniu 30 maja b.r. przedstawiciele Związku Syndykalistów Polski Sekcja Łódź przeprowadzili interwencję w sklepie Żabka przy ul. Wielkopolskiej 53a.

Akcja odbyła się na prośbę byłej pracownicy, której ajent nie wypłacił całości wynagrodzenia. Działacze sekcji wraz z poszkodowaną pracownicą nie zastali w sklepie ajenta, który powinien w niedzielę niehandlową w nim pracować. Od pracownika (!) dowiedzieliśmy się, że ajent jest na wakacjach...

W tej sytuacji złożyliśmy w sklepie pismo z wezwaniem do niezwłocznego uregulowania zaległości finansowych poszkodowanej pracownicy i konsekwencjach prawnych w przypadku ich nieuiszczenia.
Zapowiedziana została dalsza kampania w przypadku odmowy zapłaty. Interwencja ZSP-Łódź odniosła skutek. W niedługim czasie pracownica Żabki odzyskała od ajenta zaległe pieniądze. Gratulujemy jej!

Przypominamy, jeśli jesteś poszkodowanym przez ajenta pracownikiem/pracownicą sklepu Żabka - zgłoś się do nas. Pomożemy Ci w walce o Twoje prawa.

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