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One year on, Workers Keep Fighting at Polomarket
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On February 18, 2017, the first in what would be many protests was held in front of Polomarket in Bydgoszcz. Over the course of the year, the supermarket chain has come under pressure to clean up its act. The firm's response has been repeated attempts to criminalize the protesters.

Unpaid overtime. Falsified signatures on time sheets. Denying workers breaks. Health and safety violations. Workers from different Polomarket supermarkets around Poland have all come with similar claims. When workers and former workers in Bydgoszcz started the campaign one year ago today, the chain immediately claimed it wanted to resolve the problems. Instead, it initiated a criminal case against one of the workers and has been trying to dissuade other protesters with numerous attempts to get people charged with nonsense charges such as blocking the traffic in their parking lot. The repression isn't working and more and more workers are coming out to expose the problems in the market.

In the beginning, the chain decided to pay compensation to one woman who had been unfairly dismissed. This was a concrete victory for direct action. However, the union was fighting for something more than this: an end to unpaid overtime and payments for those who had been forced to work with no compensation. The right to breaks and vacation time. All of these things are guaranteed in the labor law. Yet some supermarket chains cheat where they can, hoping that the workers will be too scared to raise their voices or to organize.

Similar things happened a few years earlier, when workers decided to organize in Dino supermarkets. The chain had also been forced to make improvements after their practices had come to light. Now workers decided to take on Polo.

As the campaign went on, many things came to light. Since Polo had tried to repress one of the workers by claiming criminal slander, the workers have had to defend what they said in court, where others have come to tell the truth about the working conditions. Furthermore, labor inspections in numerous locations have confirmed the workers' side of the story.

As each month goes by, more workers decide to take action against the supermarket. Several have already won overtime payments.

The whole of ZSP is proud that the workers have not given up, despite the hard time they face. We think they can be taken as a example of standing up to intimidating bosses, a practice that is much too common, especially against workers on the lower end of the pay scale. It should also be mentioned that many of the workers are people with disabilities, a category of worker that is particularly exploited in this country. Time after time, these workers have organized in ZSP and shown that they have rights and will stand up for them.

Solidarity with the workers!
No to exploitation!
Polo pay your workers what you should!