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Problems persist at OTTO Workforce
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Workers first started to take action in response to problems at OTTO Workforce in 2011 and since that time, ZSP has been dealing with the issues in the agency on and off. OTTO is a work agency that, among other things, recruits people from Poland and Slovakia to work in Holland. At first there was an enormous list of complaints against the agency, ranging from docking salary, to not providing the hours or work promised. Many workers had not received what was owed to them. The workers took action and ZSP, Priama akcia and Vrije Bond organized a campaign to resolve the problems at the agency.

Compiling a list of the most common problems and accompanying workers to speak to the bosses organizing pickets of their offices and events, the agency did settle outstanding payments and resolve some of the important issues. Demands included fulfilling all contractual obligations, stopping the use of illegal regulations, arbitrary deductions, forcing the workers to live in OTTO's housing (which was more expensive than others). The workers also wanted some other things which were in accordance with Dutch law such as transport to work, equivalent for vacaton pay and sick leave.

The issue of the workers' hotels was even picked up by the media, who wrote and made a TV report on it. The journalists went to the hotels and described the conditions where sometimes workers even had to pay 300 euros for a small room with 6 people. Those who tried to move to other places often were fired. The media also presented the system of deductions and penalties which, at the time, the chairman of OTTO, Frank van Gool, denied existed.
As an effect of this and the action around the campaign, we were able to help quite a number of people get their money and get the baseless deductions from their salary annuled. Also, the workers at the Wago Elwag factory in Wroclaw, who were being paid different rates all the time, not according to their agreement, were able to resolve their issues thanks to actions in that city.

Despite all this, we can see that problems with OTTO are not resolved. Both the ZSP and Priama akcia get frequent mails from workers in Holland who have one problem or another with the firm. Sometimes these problems are solved but the constant repetition of certain ones show us that OTTO still needs improvement (and that the workers still need to organize).
One of the problems we would like OTTO to address is the fact that some people are promised a certain number of working hours, but get a lot less when they arrive in Holland. These workers are not earning what they need and are spending a lot to stay in that country.
And, despite the very negative publicity given to OTTO's housing, we see that not only does it still leave a lot to be desired, but OTTO is still fining people for quite disputable reasons related to their stay. Finally, there is a problem with work being quite far from the housing and that sometimes people travel hours each day.

Because of all these things and knowing that OTTO chairman van Gool will be today in Wroclaw, ZSP planned an action and will attempt to meet with van Gool and discuss these problems. Our further action depends on the outcome of the meeting and subsequent action or inaction of OTTO.