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Making people work without contracts on unpaid trial periods, forced overtime and shit work conditions were exposed in Green Way vegetarian restaurants in at least 4 locations over the last couple of years.


During a recent picket of a Wroclaw restaurant where people were hired and worked illegally without pay, a former worker of the restaurant confronted the owner who simply lied and claimed the women had never worked there. Yesterday and today, a couple of workers and comrades visited Green Way to demand back pay and copies of contracts proving that they worked there. They were offered money under the table, but with no written contract or evidence of having worked there - so they refused, demanded a copy of a contract and went back today. Today the owners were more agressive, threatening to sue us if articles about them do not disappear off the internet within three days. Also, they showed on the computer some "statement" written by "satisfied workers" which presumably they will try to print to convince people that there is "no problem" in their restaurants.


Green Way vegetarian restaurant in Wroclaw uses illegal, unpaid labour. The restaurant on Kuznica St. makes people work for free for at least a week - people are told they have to have such a trial period. Such practices are strictly forbidden by law and is just a way for the restaurant to get free labour and increase its profits. If the people are then hired, they usually have really bad working conditions and don't last long.

This is not the first problem at Green Way - we know of problems in at least 3 other cities and we made a lot of noise about this a few years ago. We thought maybe the owners of the restaurant would get the message, but apparently not. So ZSP is going to be campaigning for them to change their ways.

Green Way is a large chain of vegetarian restaurants which wants to be the vegetarian McDonalds. It decided to become a corporation, wanted to sell shares, have 100 restaurants in Poland and open up chains in 10 different countries - but so far this endeavour has been a failure. But it still advertises itself as the largest chain of vegetarian restaurants in the world.

The Green altercapitalists at Green Way were made aware of the problems of free labour, forced overtime, etc. a couple of years ago. Then they claimed that, as a franchise, there was "not much they could do" to ensure that workers' rights were respected at their restaurants. It was suggested that a code be adopted and included as part of the franchise contract, with contractual penalties for bad labour practices. Green Way however only cares about profit and is more interested in the look and location of their restaurants than the staff. This does not however prevent them from trying to capitalize on promoting "fair trade" and marketing themselves as some sort of ethical business.

ZSP in Wroclaw has been contacting workers and carrying out an informational campaign. In general ZSP is trying to inform people of their rights at work and encouraging organizing in areas which are typically not organized. Exploitation is particularly prevalent in jobs dominated by students and the marginally employed, and among those people, unfortunately there is not always awareness of the problems. Or, people are desperate for any job.

On February 12, there was a picket at the Green Way on Kuznica St. One of the former employees of Green Way, who was not paid, asked the owner about her salary and she claimed that "you never worked here" and called the police on the demonstrators. Such a determination on the part of Green Way to continue such practices and such sleaziness will be met with our determination to change things. This is just the beginning, In the meanwhile, we are going to return to the slogan "Green Way - No Way" and encourage people to stay away from these restaurants. More actions are planned around Poland and a few former employees will be joining.


Members of ZSP educational section made an informational action at Warsaw University. Leaflets were given out with information about the Bologna Process and against paid studies. There were also leaflets about the doctoral students protest in Wroclaw and booklets informing students about their rights at work. Since this action was made for weekend students, most of them work and students have many problems with working conditions.

There is such an action every week in Warsaw.


Members of ZSP in Wrocław are involved in the organization of doctoral students at Wroclaw University. The working conditions of the doctoral students are particularly bad. They are required to do teaching and research and receive a stipend which is even less than minimal wage. And in some of the humanities department, they don't even receive that.

The doctoral students are demanding a raise to the level of minimal wage. They do not currently receive the minimum because they are not considered "workers".

On Jan. 27, the students held a protest in front of Wroclaw University. Their demands were given to the University and published on their new internet page.

The students are considering an escalation in action, perhaps a strike, if their demands are not met.

ZSP has doctoral students in other cities and it is possible that this protest will spread.



ZSP Educational Section is holding informational actions every Friday afternoon in front of educational institutions. Weekly meetings are being held at the Warsaw infoshop.

Besides information on the Bologna Process and agitation for free and libertarian education, ZSP calls for better working conditions for academic workers and support staff in schools and universities. It also is trying to increase consciousness amongst students, among other things, of their rights at work and problems of commerical education.

More information:
(in Polish)



On January 11 pickets were held in front of the German Embassy in Warsaw and consulates in Wroclaw, Gdansk, Gliwice and Olsztyn in support of the anarchosyndicalist union FAU. Protests were also sent in or delivered in a couple of other cities.

The pickets were to protest the court decision which essentially bans FAU as a legal trade union. Messages of solidarity were read in front of the embassy and leaflets given out. Activists promised to continue protest if the situation does not change.

Many of the activists criticized the role of the state and ver.di which acted in this case as a yellow union. Part of a statement written by ZSP and WRS reads:

If the employers don't want to negotiate directly with the workers, then direct action is the only way left to put pressure on the boss. Workers can formulate their own demands without the consent of the bosses and union bureaucrats - and that is exactly want they will do when their rights are violated. Such bans can lead to a radicalization of workers who will not tolerate further repression.


There are some additional news items on this blog:


On Dec. 4-6 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the 24th Congress of the International Workers' Association took place. ZSP became the newest section of the IWA. This is the first time a section from Poland has been represented in the International.


Work conditions are still bad at site of National Stadium. Today was small information event at construction site. During action appeared two locals who worked in Stadium and weren't paid. So they left the work. At same time, we saw Austrian workers at Stadium. They must have good salaries to come to work on site in Poland. So looks like subcontractors hire the local unemployed people without skills for part of work and don't care about paying them, but firm even spends money to import workers for some other jobs there.

Problem is lack of any organization on part of workers and actions of leaving work instead of organizing. ZSP tries to tell the local people not to let this happen, organize instead of becoming victims. There are more plans to talk to the workers as much as possible and gather more information on the issue.

Mainstream media became interested and TV made interviews with cheated workers but firm tries to convince media that everything is under control. State Labour Inspectorate came to Stadium, but they do not care about working conditions of people on contracts, since they are on civil contracts and aren't even "workers".


Comrades from ZSP Wroclaw and the authors of the Paris Commune Blog have launched a new web portal called Self-Governing Wroclaw. The purpose of the service is to provide a place for news and ideas about grassroots activism and self-management. It is a place to present the point of view of people who are often excluded from the mainstream media.

The service started just a few days ago. It is open but with moderation. Some of the articles include information about the free transportation campaign, about protests of patients against the closure of a hospital, about police abuse, the city raising costs of day care and borrowing money to build a football stadium and other news of local interest.

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