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Lionbridge Solidarity Actions

The first week of July saw the beginning of international solidarity actions with Jakub G., a union activist unfairly dismissed from the Warsaw office of Lionbridge Poland.

On June 30, activists from Priama Akcia in Slovakia visited the local office in Zilina. Leaflets were given out and a toy lion was left for the management. In a rather grotesque turn of events, the manager of the Polish and Slovakian offices, Jacek Stryczynski, claimed that the lion was something like a death threat and made a very ridiculous and paranoid representation of the event in one of a string of e-mails to sent to frighten employees.

On July 1, a picket was held in Brussels. Leaflets were given out and people spoke to the workers at the office. In Paris the next morning, members of CNT-AIT got a more harsh reception from security but still managed to hand out leaflets to the employees. In Lisbon, the offices of Lionbridge got some information posters about the case.

On July 4, pickets took place in Dublin, Copenhagen and in Madrid. In each case, leaflets were given out to employees and passersby.

July 4 marked the beginning of Jakub's case in the Labour Court. The management of Lionbridge presented no evidence to support their false claim that he was fired for stealing confidential information which was supposedly leaked in an article. When asked which information was confidential, the lawyers claimed that the revenue of the firm was confidential information. Of course this is total bullshit: Lionbridge is a publically listed company and information about it's revenue is published in its annual report and is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since Lionbridge's arguments are bogus and they have no evidence to support their fabricated claims, they tried to submit an interview with Jakub made after his dismissal as evidence of his hostility towards the company but this could not constitute grounds for dismissal and naturally was not allowed. The company thus tried to stall and postpone, citing the lack of some original English-language version of an article.

Some time after the court session, there was a picket in front of the Warsaw office of the company. Due to a torrential storm, the crowd was smaller than anticipated, but still about 40 people stood there is the pouring rain. The company turned the office into a bit of a fortress; 4 vans of riot police were waiting there and police and corporate security were filming from many points in the building. Following a string of scary e-mails implying that the job security of all the workers was threatened and warning that "the protest was taking place during working hours", few people dared venture out of the building until after the picket had ended.

In the meanwhile, Lionbridge employees and freelancers from around the world have sent their best wishes.