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Solidarity with LOT Polish Airlines Workers

Strike Actions Continue at LOT Polish Airlines. For one week now, various staff have been striking and protesting. Almost 70 workers have been fired in response and the airline has prepared legal cases in an attempt to scare others against joining the protests. ZSP calls for wide-scale action against the state-owned airline. Below is the statement of the ZSP-IWA. We call on our sister organizations to spread the news and show their solidarity.

LOT Polish Airlines has forced some workers to pretend they are independent contractors and have a B2B relation, rather than be employed. This forces them to take on various forms of liability and to waive their rights to certain benefits guaranteed under the labour law. As contractors, the labour law does not apply to them.


Solidarity with LOT Polish Airlines Workers

ZSP would like to express its solidarity to the workers of PLL LOT who are facing repression from the management for taking industrial action in the struggle for improved working conditions at the airline. We absolutely condemn the actions of prezes Rafal Milczarski who fired 67 workers disciplinarily for their participation in protests and work stoppages and for his continued intimidation tactics. This includes demanding payments of between 400-800,000 zloties from pilots as a punishment. Previously the airline fired the head of one union and has filed lawsuits of 200,000 zloties against unionists for supposedly damaging the reputation of the company.

Such actions are completely deplorable. We support the demands of workers to have proper contracts and working conditions and especially the rights of the staff which is underpaid to fight for better wages.

Any repressive action should be met with the solidarity of other unions and working people. Unfortunately, some unions such as Solidarity have pacted with the bosses of the politically- appointed management, yet again showing that their role is to moderate the workers in such enterprises, not to fight for their rights.

In light of the situation, we declare our support for strike action and call on people to support the workers in any way they can. We encourage everyone to consider boycotting LOT if they have reasonable alternatives or letting the managent know what they think of these practices, in order to support the staff.

From our union, we are blacklisting LOT until they do the following:

reinstate all the staff dismissed for industrial action
withdraw all the lawsuits brought against unionists and other workers related to the most recent events and the media campaigns
sit down with the workers in relation to their demands

We particularly criticize the use of trash contracts and fake self-employment contracts to avoid the responsibilities related to employment. It is completely unacceptable that a state-run company use such methods. ZSP, which runs a campaign called „Enough Exploitation on Public Money”, loudly repeats its demands that the state sector hire workers on legal work contracts, avoiding fictional self-employent or other forms of employment designed to put labor costs onto workers. We therefore declare that as long as the government allows such means to be used in the state sector, it acts as an exploiter and, in the case of LOT, as a repressive force against workers.

Enough is enough!
Stop the repression in LOT!
Milczarski must go!
Stop the anti-union and anti-worker repressions supported by the government!