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PoloMarket Disrepects Basic Rights. News from the first Trial of the Polo 8.

On March 8, the first trial of the Polo 8 took place in Inowroclaw. They are facing bullshit criminal charges as reprisals for organizing and protesting incorrect working conditions in the supermarket chain.

One of the first things the supermarket lawyer did was enter in as „evidence” information that further protests were planned at Polo Market. The protests were legalized, but the lawyer apparently sees protests as some crime and incitement to workers to „commit criminal acts”.

Decades after workers fought against the repressive system that denied them such basic rights, such as the right to protest, the totalitarian face of the rich and ruling classes has shown itself and its intention to smash and repress workers movements that go against it.

The first of two cases against the 8 related to the visit to Polo Market's headquarters in Giebnia last year, regarding the unfair dismissal of one worker, under false pretexts. The supermarket admitted its guilt and made the worker compensation. (She did not want to return after what she had been through.) Months later, the supermarket decided to try and punish them by inventing some ridiculous criminal charges, such as creating some hazard by „blocking the flow of traffic”. No blockade took place only people walked through the parking lot. As people had been taking videos during the action, these were submitted as evidence. Although the judge quickly took the supermarket's evidence (information about legal pickets), our comrade had to argue to get the judge to admit the video evidence, which clearly shows what happened.

Since the comrades pleaded not guilty, the trials will proceed in April.

In the procedural letter, lawyers for Polo Market wrote, „In the assessment of the injured party, the accused, even though we brought criminal charges against them a few times, feel guiltless... they feel that they can get away with their criminal behaviour. … When they manage to get away with it, they publically declare their victory … and continue what they are doing, presenting themselves as heroes fighting „the system”.
The protests at Polo Market are in relation to violations of the Labour Law which took place there and were confirmed by the State Labour Inspectorate. Among the many problems is the incorrect evidencing of working hours and unpaid overtime. Already a number of workers have won compensation from Polo and more are still fighting.

Rather than clean up their act, apologize to the workers and pay them what they are owed, Polo has engaged in various forms of retaliation and repression.

After the trial, the comrades responded with a new round of pickets at Polo Market, including at the head office in Giebnia. As usual, they were followed by Polo's private detectives who have been stalking workers for over a year now, filming and photographing protests in moves to intimidate others from joining. It hasn't worked.

ZSP condemns all forms of repression against workers, especially when they are just fighting for their legal rights to be respected. We ask here, who are the real criminals?