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Poczta Polska
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ZSP has written numerous times about how the management of the Polish Post Office tried to intimidate protesting workers by using threats and by firing 4 workers active in organizing while letting the contracts of a few others lapse, refusing to renew them.

A number of these workers sued the Post Office for compensation and reinstatement and also for unpaid overtime. The Post Office is trying everything to avoid reinstatement; usually their tactics revolve around attacking the workers yet another time.

Our comrade Rafal was singled out for his active part in organizing large protests in Warsaw and was given a disciplinary dismissal under false pretexts in March 2017. On March 16, a few thousand postal workers protested for higher pay,followed by a second national demonstration in April. and a number of concrete improvements in working conditions, some of which the Post Office was forced to partially react to. Salaries have been raised, but only 25% of what the workers were demanding.

The inefficient court system does nothing to help workers fighting for reinstatement as Rafal's case has just started to by heard, 15 months later. Nonetheless, it was important to take a stand in this official process to establish the pattern of abuse in this state institution.

On November 15 the case started with the Post Office trying to pressure other workers,who they called as witness, into supporting their frame up. However, things did not go as planned. While the Post Office has claimed that there was no forced overtime, and called overtime worked “a courtesy”, the workers testified that the Post Office was understaffed and that it was impossible to do everything in an 8 hour day. Furthermore, they all testified that the workers all chipped in 40 zloties a month from their own pockets to pay for help. Somebody would have to come in – even sometimes at 2AM – to sort the mail for them before working hours, otherwise they wouldn't be able to both do the sorting and deliveries on time. They also testified that the Post Office was not keeping evidence of the real working hours.

The management tried to justify their firing under the pretext of „safety concerns”. Thanks to the court case, we were able to obtain certain documents from the Post Office as evidence. While employed, Rafal was checked by the management and the following was written:

„The actions of Rafal Czerski […] consisting of calling on postal workers to protest, his connections with the ZSP, influences unrest and as a result, there is a risk of destabilizing the functioning of the Polish Post Office."
"Rafał Czerski is a sympathizer and maybe even a member of an anarchist organization called Związek Syndykalistów Polski. He actively participates in meetings and actions agitating for raises for mailcarriers. Rafal Czerski has brought his anarchist convictions to the Polish Post Office by distributing leaflets with radical content like „Enough exploitation – Time for Raises” and by calling for organization of postal workers from below in order to win pay raises."

Such texts leave little doubt that the main purpose of his dismissal was to stop organizing in the Post Office and derail the demands for pay raises.

In typical Polish style, the next hearing is scheduled for May 30, 2019. With workers having to wait a couple of years to get reinstatement cases heard, there is no doubt that most employers who illegally dismiss workers are never held accountable. In the meanwhile, the Post Office continues its programs of using prison labour to deal with the fact that few nominally free workers want to subject themselves to those conditions.

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W dniu 15 listopada odbyło się posiedzenie sądu rejonowego Warszawa Praga-Południe w sprawie z powództwa Rafała Czerskiego, zwolnionego z Poczty Polskiej za zaangażowanie w protesty listonoszy. Rafał domaga się odszkodowania za bezpodstawne zwolnienie oraz wypłaty wynagrodzenia za bezpłatnie przepracowane nadgodziny.

Rafał pracował w urzędzie pocztowym w Wołominie przy ul. Ogrodowej 3. W marcu 2017 r. Rafał Czerski został zwolniony z pracy. Pracodawca podał jako powód "utratę zaufania". W tym samym czasie Rafał dał się poznać na protestach listonoszy organizowanych przez Związek Syndykalistów Polski. Według szacunków 16 marca 2017 r. na ulice wyszło ok. 2 tys. listonoszy - protestował więc co 10 zatrudniony, bo listonoszy w Poczcie pracuje ok. 20 tys. Protestujący listonosze domagali się m.in. zwiększenia zarobków, zmniejszenia rejonów oraz wypłat wynagrodzenia za nadgodziny.

W efekcie protestów listonosze otrzymali podwyżki i niektóre urzędy pocztowe w kraju zaczęły wypłacać wynagrodzenie za pracę w nadgodzinach. Jednak dyrekcja zwolniła pod różnymi pretekstami osoby, które traktowała jako "prowodyrów", m.in. właśnie Rafała Czerskiego z Wołomina, Zbigniewa Trochimiaka z Wrocławia (pisaliśmy o tym tutaj) oraz Klaudiusza Wieczorka z Piekar Śląskich.

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In response to the situation at the Polish Post Office, ZSP called for international solidarity actions to be held at Polish Embassies and Consulates. This is a direct response to another dismissal of our union activist, this time in Wroclaw. Earlier 2 people were fired for their roles in organizing protests. The Post Office has also been trying to bring serious but completely fictious criminal charges against another worker, who doesn't even work in the Post Office, but was involved in the organization of the workers' protests.

The support was good from the organizations of the International Workers Association and other friends. There were protests and leafleting in a dozen international cities - Bratislava, Valencia, Madrid, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Belgrade, Cologne, Oslo, Jakarta, Melbourne, Canberra - and of course in Poland. Faxes and emails were also sent from the USA, Austria and Lithuania. (A few photos are here. More are on our social media.)

We thank everybody for the support. We'd like to point out that, due to the large protests last year, some working conditions were improved and everybody got a raise. The Post Office however has been doing everything it can be make sure that the unions are not recognized and people who they perceive as the main organizers are gone, harrassed or neutralized.

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Link do zbiórki pieniędzy: https://zrzutka.pl/9yjvtf

Na początku roku władze Poczty Polskiej zwolniły naszego kolegę Zbigniewa Trochimiaka, listonosza z Wrocławia.

Zbyszek brał udział w protestach we Wrocławiu, nie zgadzał się z panującymi warunkami pracy na urzędzie pocztowym oraz obnażał publicznie niewygodną prawdę o warunkach pracy i płacy w Poczcie Polskiej m.in. na otwartym spotkaniu z mieszkańcami Wrocławia.

Domagał się poprawienia jakości usług pocztowych, a więc stał także po stronie klientów.

Co ciekawe, jako jeden z powodów zwolnienia podano również publiczne wyrażanie negatywnej opinii o pocztowej “Solidarności”. Co również istotne, żaden z działających związków zawodowych na Poczcie Polskiej nie zainteresował się sprawą Zbyszka.

Dlatego postanowiliśmy rozpocząć zbiórkę pieniężną w celu zapewnienia mu wszelkiej niezbędnej pomocy. On jest naszym głosem i nie możemy pozwolić, żeby tak łatwo zamykano nam usta! Prosimy także o wsparcie klientów i klientek, bo ta walka jest także w ich interesie.

Zbiórka powstała z inicjatywy Związek Syndykalistów Polski. Oddolnej, niebiurokratycznej organizacji pracowniczej.

O sprawie Zbyszka pisaliśmy tu: http://zsp.net.pl/wladze-poczty-polskiej-represjonuja-kolejnego-pracowni...

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Władze Poczty Polskiej dyscyplinarnie zwolniły kolejnego pracownika zaangażowanego w walkę o prawa pracownicze. Chodzi o Zbigniewa Trochimiaka, listonosza z Wrocławia. Rzekomym powodem wręczenia dyscyplinarki była „utrata zaufania” Poczty Polskiej względem pracownika.

Zbyszek brał udział w protestach we Wrocławiu, nie zgadzał się z panującymi warunkami pracy na urzędzie pocztowym oraz obnażał publicznie niewygodną prawdę o warunkach pracy i płacy w Poczcie Polskiej m.in. na otwartym spotkaniu z mieszkańcami Wrocławia.

Co ciekawe, jako jeden z powodów zwolnienia podano również publiczne wyrażanie negatywnej opinii o pocztowej “Solidarności”. Co również istotne, żaden z działających związków zawodowych na Poczcie Polskiej nie zainteresował się sprawą Zbyszka, mimo że informacja o szykującej się na niego dyscyplinarce została wysłana wcześniej przez pracodawcę do związkowców. Podobnie wyglądała sytuacja z Klaudiuszem Wieczorkiem, który nie był broniony przez „Solidarność”, mimo iż był członkiem tego związku. O czym to świadczy?

Zwolnienie Zbyszka Trochimiaka jest kolejnym działaniem represyjnym Poczty Polskiej wymierzonym w pracownika zaangażowanego w walkę o poprawę warunków pracy. Wcześniej Poczta Polska zwolniła dyscyplinarnie Klaudiusza Wieczorka z Piekar Śląskich za zorganizowanie protestu w Katowicach oraz niewygodne dla pracodawcy i pocztowej „Solidarności” wypowiedzi na forum publicznym. Poczta Polska wręczyła również później wypowiedzenie Rafałowi Czerskiemu, listonoszowi z Wołomina, do którego także „straciła zaufanie”, ponieważ brał udział w protestach, „agitował” pracowników oraz przedstawiał opinii publicznej sytuację na Poczcie Polskiej w negatywnym świetle.

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The management of the Polish Post Office is again trying to intimidate workers who have spoken out against the poor working conditions that they suffer.

Postal Workers from around Poland are planning pickets next week, to recall their postulates, which include a decent raise and improved working conditions. Again the Post Office management has responded by threatening to fire workers who talk about their working conditions publically, on the internet.

On December 1, the Post Office published a text which states:

„In relation to the increased activity of some anti-Post Office people on the internet recently, we remind you that all of our internet activity is monitored. The internet is not a space where we can feel beyond the law and hide behind the mask of an anonymous user.

People who disclose information about their professional activity or work relations, or who describe projects they are taking part in or who comment on decisions taken by their supervisors, rarely are conscious of their very negative activity. Every post against the employer and its good name is in essence a violation of the work agreement.

Losing trust in a worker is a reason to immediately dismiss a worker with justified cause, … The Supreme Court has also confirmed many times that such situations can be grounds for dismissal. In addition, if the employer loses an important contract or client because of what workers are writing on the internet, the worker will also be responsible for compensation.”

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After Solidarity signed a measely pay increase for Post Office workers and defended the use of unpaid overtime, the union has come in for harsh criticism for its collaboration.

Over the past couple of years, postal workers from around Poland have been expressing their demands for better working conditions and have been doing so outside of the main unions at the Post Office. Workers see that these unions work more to defend the interests of the employer than the workers. Last year, a series of actions, including work stoppages were held, organized by the workers themselves, outside of the unions. At first, these were mostly actions of mail carriers, but later, other categories of workers also joined in.

Some members of ZSP working at the Post Office engaged in contacting the different groups of workers and together organized a national coordination to put forward demands agreed by workers themselves – not by union bureaucrats with zero accountability to the workforce. In the first of three national meetings, workers set out a list of demands, including a raise, with basic pay to rise to 3200 zloties, payment for overtime work and reorganization of the regions. (Currently, some workers have to cover much more ground than other and the assignment of good or bad regions are often the result of favouritism or used as some form of keeping people in line.) In March, workers organized a series of protests on the same day in 23 cities throughout Poland and then at the beginning of April, a demonstration in Warsaw in which more than 2000 workers participated, making it the largest workers action outside the mainstream unions since the transformation.

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Following the national protest of postal workers in Warsaw on April 8, a national meeting was held the following week in Lodz to formalize the network and adopt a libertarian form of organization, based on our principles of direct democracy, leaderless unions and mandated and recallable delegates.

The meeting was the third national gathering, after the ones in Wroclaw and Warsaw which prepared the demands to the Post Office, the decentralized actions in March and the demonstration in April.

The postal workers would like to push forward their postulates and continue organizing outside the mainstream unions which have continually sidetracked the workers to pact with the bosses. The Post Office does not want to talk about these postulates, relying on the bigger unions not to protest. Instead the PO has stepped up PR about how important it is to improve working conditions, but always claiming they „cannot afford it”. The workers know better and will not back down.

Demands were also sent to the Ministry responsible for the Post Office as well as the government. They have sent them on for discussion but still have made no attempts to talk to the dissatisfied workers.

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On March 23, the HR department of the Polish Post Office sent a letter to the management of the branches instructing them to bother workers about the necessity of caring for the good of the employer. This refers to the activities and protests of postal workers which the management has been trying to squash through scare tactics and repression, including the dismissal of one mailman and the possible dismissal of another.

The letter states:

In relation to the posts put on social media and the Intranet which have offensive comments about managers or their co-workers and into order to extinguish operational risks connected to the workers showing posters about raises during working hours, with the logo of the post office in the background, we inform that the above actions constitute a serious violation of work duties. These violations are set out in art. 100 para.2, pt. 4 of the Labor Code, which is the duty to care about the work place, which is connected with the widely understood interests of the employers (not only financial, which is connected to the obligation that the worker be loyal to the employer.

In light of the above, we ask that you make the workers aware and to take disciplinary measures against those who personally took part in such actions. The workers should be made aware of the fact that the good name and interests of the Post Office have been violated and to inform them that the employer, in justified situations, can terminate the employment agreement for reasons related to the fault of the worker.

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A self-organized movement has revolted against the mainstream unions and is set to continue despite repression.

On March 16, a couple of thousand postal workers from 22 cities in Poland organized the largest decentralized workers actions outside the mainstream unions in recent history. Protests started at 7AM and took place at different hours in the day, with a few reaching several hundred participants. The main demands of the workers are a raise of 1000 zloties and reorganization of the regions.

The working conditions at the post office are tragic, especially for mail carriers. Wages hover just slightly above minimum wage, meaning the basic pay one takes home is a little less than 350 euros. Many mail carriers who have worked 15, 20 or even 30 years earn basically the same. What's worse is that the conditions are hard and most are overworked. With wages at supermarkets now being even 1000 zloties higher, it is very hard to find new people to work there. It is probably for this reason that the government has decided to use prison labor to make up for the shortage.

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