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(en) Slovakia, Support crucial workers struggle

From m t <michal2lik@yahoo.com>
Date Sat, 6 Nov 2004 13:08:04 +0100 (CET)


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On Monday 11th November, 14:30 CET workers of
Neusiedler (Austrian based multinational) hold a
protest meeting in the town of Ruzomberok (mid-Slovakia).
We Priama akcia – IWA Slovakia, ask you to support
the action, the overall struggle and demands of
workers by sending solidarity emails to them and
protest emails and faxes to the company in Slovakia
as well as to your national branch of Neusiedler
(they have businesses in Austria, Hungary, Russia,
South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain,
Italy, United Arab Emirates, UK, Ukraine, Poland,
Bulgaria, Czech, USA, Isreal - see
www.neusiedler.com). It would be great if you could
also hold a protest action in front of their national
offices.

HISTORY

Here is the background of the struggle.
In September 2004 a Petition commitee (PC) of 5
people was founded in Neusiedler in Ruzomberok. It
was the first time petiton was public, not
underground. In few days the commitee managed to gain
over 1200 signs under their demands (wage increases
etc.) which means 90 % of all the employees.
Several general meetings took place where establishing
of new unions was discussed together with statutes,
social program, design of collective agreement and
so. (In November the unions were registered under
name Papier with over 350 applications for
membership.)
In October PC was invited to what they thought was a
negotiation with the management of the company.
However, what happend was that they received an
hour´s notice on the basis of spreading bad
reputation about the company in Slovakia and abroad
which means gross violation of work discipline. All
this only because the PC applied the petition right
guaranteed in Slovak constitution! They were escorted
to their workshops with the doorman, had to pack
their stuff and then were escorted in front out of
the company gate. Today, altogether 19 members of
Papier and PC are laid off.
There were several other disgusting manners applied
from the side of the management (threatening people
not to take part in new unions, threats to lay off
husbands/wives of the already laid off workers...) as
well as from the side of original unions
representatives (harrasing people not to take part in
any actions, using dirty tactics and calling workers
during feast days and persuing them not to join the
Papier union...).

WORKERS DEMANDS

1. Immediate stop of lay-offs
2. Revoking of the notices of the employees who
engaged in new unions and readmission of the Petition
committee members
3. Accepting the new union and not punishing its
members for their activity
4. Fullfilment of demands of the Petition committee

We think that support of this struggle is crucial in
Slovakia because it is the first time people got rid
of bureaucratic unions and try to form new, more
open ones. For example, the new union´s functionaries
are revocable at any time (this is not possible in
any other union), are paid by average workers wage in
the concrete company (anywhere else it is quite
more), decisions are made on general meetings (rare,
if not impossible, in other unions) and most of all,
they have a radical spirit (make steps to start a
strike and occupation of the company if necessary)
and are open to any new views on how things could be
done in more effective way (they are open to
experiences from all over the world, including the
anarchosyndicalist ones).

In case they win the struggl, it can bring a huge
precedens for the future union struggles and union
organising.

Priama akcia has established contacts with the Papier
union and supports their struggle. We ask all the
readers of this message to do the same and spread
this information as wide as possible. To do actions
in national branches of Neusiedler would be a great
help for the workers. We assume you know that such
fight is also psychological and many workers feel
under pressure and the threats from the side of the
management and the original union seem to weaken their
will to struggle! What they desperately need is a
feeling that they are not alone and that giving up
the threats can make things only worse!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

We enclose a model letter you could send to the
Neusiedler management. Their email is
miloslav.curilla@neusiedler.com and
hovorca@neusiedler.com.

Or you can call the director of the company at +421
44 432 5724 (the operator´s number is 044 436 1111).

Faxes can be sent to +421/44/432 7701.
(In case of any kind of solidarity, please send us a
copy or let us know briefly so we can tell the
workers on Monday protest meeting).

Model letter:


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“Dear Sir,
I write you on behalf of ........ to show my


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solidarity with demands of the employees of
Neusiedler SCP a.s. Ruzomberok.

I/We am/are outraged of hearing about the situation
in Neusiedler SCP a.s.

I/We demand you to immediately stop the lay-offs,
revoke the notices of the employees who engaged in
new unions and readmission of the Petition committee
members, accept of the new union and not punishing
its members for their activity and fullfil demands
of the Petition committee.

Furthermore, I/we strongly protest against
totalitarian practices of Neusiedler SCP that include
violation of basic workers rights to union organising
and punishment and harrasment of he unionists and
their family members!

I/we show full support to the demands of your
employees. I/we warn that your practices harm the
company in Slovakia and abroad. I/we should remind
you that we are well infromed about the situation and
its development and until you fullfil what we clearly
see as legitimate and legal demands of the vast
majority of the workers!

Stop your attacks on the union and in fact
constitutional rights!”

And it would be superb if you could send at least
short solidarity emails to the workers (you can send
it to PA email address or to the email address of one
of the PC and Papier members – sativa@zoznam.sk).

In case you want more, get in touch.

On behalf of Priama akcia – IWA Slovakia,
Michal Tulik
(International Secretary)
-------------------------------
Ed Note: IWA Slovakia is of the anarchist spectrum.


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