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The ZSP Multi-Branch Union in Warsaw is drawing attention to a shady practice which we uncovered being used in the Praski Hospital. The situation started when workers were afraid they would lose their jobs on permanent contracts to an external company. This hospital, like many others, did any with some workers directly employed in favor of external companies. In the case of Praski Hospital, some workers had fixed-term contracts which the hospital allowed to lapse, without offering any extension.

It came out that the hospital also was using some shady practices. Contracts were signed for less than the minimum wage but then they claimed that extra payments made for working the night shift meant that the worker actually earned the minimum wage.

This practice is currently upheld by the law, meaning that a minimum wage worker in fact can be denied in practice extra payments for overtime or night work. Various proposals have been recently made to eliminate this practice. What is interesting is that in the Tri-Partite Commission, even the employers agreed to eliminate this practice. This is because they found it is sometimes hard to get people to work the night shifts without it. Despite agreement between the main unions and the bosses, the government did not accept proposals which would end this practice.

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Mediacje w bielskim szpitalu psychiatrycznym zakończone fiaskiem

The situation of workers in the SPZOZ Hospital in Bielsko-Biała has been difficult for years. Over the past year, the hospital has gone on strike and given new demands to the hospital. The Ministry of Health was involved with mediation in June 2016.. 13 of the 21 demands of the workers were fulfilled, but still not the demands for a wage increase which is crucial.

Since the mediation did not fulfill all the demands of the workers, a protocal was signed, a so-called "protocol of differences", after which a strike can follow.

The workers consider that the hospital is in a financial condition which would allow them to give raises. They also point out that some other health care workers received raises after negotiations with the Minister of Health - for example, many categories of nurses. However, it seems like the hospital is concentrating on plans to modernize and improve the infrastructure but has not planned any raises.

The workers are planning a warning strike this month.

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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.

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If you are interested in the tenants movement, check out this short brochure about the Committee for the Defense of Tenants' Rights. It was prepared for a conference abroad and gives a brief look at what we do.

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Rebuilding Anarchosyndicalism

Beyond Eurocentrism – Spreading anarchosyndicalist strategies – Unifying Struggles

Premise

Anarchosyndicalism is currently at a crossroads. On the one hand, we have new opportunities to build active movements on the ground which can show another model for workers in struggle. On the other hand, insufficient mobilization and coordinating efforts on the global level and slow progress have lead some activists towards “quick fix” solutions of unsustainable service models or non-libertarian but perhaps more syndically oriented models.

The anarchosyndicalist lnternational cannot rest in light of such developments and must retake the initiative to be a reference for anarchosyndicalism and a model for new anarchosyndicalist activity around the world. In order to do this, we must break a certain Eurocentric mentality and encourage organizational models which can work in parts of the world that have a lack of anarchosyndicalist tradition.

For this project to work, we have to maximize our efforts and to strengthen the existing IWA Sections.

Anarchosyndicalism cannot be treated as a great theory that maybe can happen years from now but must be seen as a practice that can be used now by working people to spread our method and as a tool of struggle.

We need to learn from the lessons of our movement and not return to the bankrupt strategies.

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The X Congress of ZSP took place in Krakow on May 2-3, 2016. The Congress focused on matters of our union activity and development, as well as some international issues. It was followed by an open meeting to present our activities and tactics.

A new section from Opole was admitted at the Congress. Reports were given about groups of workers we are currently cooperating with and/or speaking to and which ones potentially could join our organization. Another part of the Congress dealt with updates on current conflicts comrades are involved in. Almost all of the affiliate organizations of ZSP are currently carrying out conflicts in a number of workplaces and all of the delegates were actively involved in at least a couple of them. The Congress showed that the organization is most active on the level of workplace conflicts and that there are lots of groups of workers interested in concrete cooperation.

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Workers are organizing at Zle Mięso vegan restaurant in Wroclaw to take action and fight for their rights. This restaurant, which markets itself as alternative offers no real alternative for workers. Some work under the table with no work record, social insurance or benefits; others who got a contract were given two different contracts - one for the worker, a different one for the owner, in order to cheat on social security payments. According to workers, when they asked for explanations, they were threatened. Workers also claim this pseudo-leftist boss warned about his "connections" (ie, dad who is a politician). After this, some workers quit but intend to fight for what they are owed and demand better working conditions in this restaurant.

We won't eat where working conditions stink and comrades have informed the vegan and activist community of what is happening in this restaurant.

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The ZSP Multibranch Union is fighting back against contract abuse and underpayments at the Praski Hospital in Warsaw. Porters at the hospital were paid below the minimum wage and were given too many temporary contracts to sign - by law they should have been offered permanent contracts. Now the hospital has also contracted an outside company for some services and the porters are afraid for their jobs. Our colleague is demanding 3000 zloty in back pay to start and calls on all workers to organize against this practices.

We note that the Chairman of the Board of the hospital is A. Golimont, city councilperson from the supposedly social democratic SLD and it is his signature on the contracts. So we demand that he not only follow the law and provide the minimum, at least, but do more about the working conditions in the hospital. ln turn, we condemn the policies of the government that underfund health care and all those that turn a blind eye on exploitation in the public sector.

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In Wroclaw ZSP managed to win a conflict in a local pre-school where the owner did not make social security payments. The situation went back to 2013, although the worker in question did not find out about the non-payments until 2015. After the intervention of ZSP, the problem was solved. The local ZSP encourages all workers to fight for their rights and stresses that workers will bear the consequences of working without all these payments, so it is better to fight.

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A group of postal workers, including postal workers in ZSP, have sent a list of demands to the Post Office and threaten to go on strike if these demands are not met. Here is the list:

We, workers of the Polish Post demand:
- a raise of basic salary by 700 zl. brutto;
- an increase of internal staff and postal carriers;
- reorganization of the regions, creating new regions in order to lessen the burden on the carriers
- an end to mobbing;
- limiting what carriers are expected to sell to only postal products (stamps, envelopes, cards). An end to forcing them to sell financial services of the Postal Bank, insurance or items not connected to the post office.;
- lowering the threshhold to get a bonus which are currently impossible to reach;
- that mail delivers not be forced to carry junk mail or to read gas meters ;
- that a 40 hour work week be observed;
- that pay gaps be eliminated;
- We also demand that an outside firm conduct research, twice for one month. The first term will be determined by the postal workers, the second by the board of the post office. Then, after consultation with the postal workers, they should calculate the time it takes to make delivervies of different kinds.

If you don't meet our demands, the result will be a strike!

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