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Payment Order for Cheated Workers in Wola

Workers who were renovating social flats in the Wola district without any contract and were not paid have won a payment order from a Warsaw Court. It looks that after months of going without their pay, the workers will finally get their money.

The Wola district, as well as public institutions like the Ministry of Defense, have been hiring shady sole-trader companies to do renovation work. ZSP has been fighting so that workers in such situations have either work contracts or the salary equivalents of normal contracted work, along with benefits. The government has passed laws with would make this possible - but not obligatory. Public institutions in Warsaw thus continue to give work to shady companies through public tenders.

In the fall of last year, the workers joined to take action in their case after they were cheated and wound up in a homeless shelter, with no money to live. They occupied the Wola district office where they were told that "nothing could be done" about their situation. Representatives of the Office did not want to pay them, but also did not pay the company who it had contracted. They denied that they had any possibly to check the legality of the workers of the companies they contracted, which is not true. They just do not care.

Many workers in Poland are forced to work without contracts. Usually they are promised them but as time goes by, they just don't get them but continue to work in desperation. Sometimes they are paid, sometimes they are cheated. Usually if they are cheated, they are made to believe that they cannot get their money and treated as if they broke the law.

However, we have just proven again that when you take action and don't give up, you can wiwin. In this case, direct action did not work, since the district refused to pay a penny. However, after taking the case to court, the workers got a payment order for their money and they can get this from the money the city did not pay the company. This is a very rare victory in such a situation. We are very happy that the court, which rarely sides with workers, actually upheld their rights, even though they had no contract.

The money will come in handy, especially as one of the workers is ill (with cancer) and needs time for rehabilitation.

In the meanwhile, we still call on Wola to use social clauses in public tenders and to verify that workers are getting paid. We remind that we already called them out when workers from Impuls Agency were found there working without any salary. We are appointed with the social commission of the district and will ask that they support these postulates, as well as work to resolving issues related to the housing crisis in that neighbourhood. Members of ZSP and the Tenant's Defense Committee occupied the District Office again two weeks ago.

Solidarity is our Weapon! We will win!