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(en) TESCO exploiting Polish workers in Ireland - WSM* members attended the picket to show solidarity

Date Thu, 28 Jul 2005 17:52:08 +0300


Polish workers took action today at Tesco Distribution on Greenhills Road in Dublin
Ireland's economic boom over the last decade has seen the
migration of Irish workers out of the country in seach for work
reverse and a large migration of workers into the country from
all over Europe. Both multi-national and Irish employers have
been taking advantage of the precarious position of such
workers to focce them to work for low (and often illegal) wages
and in harsh conditions. The bosses are relying that as these
workers often feel isolated in a new country where they may
not fully understand the language they will not resist such exploitation.

But over the last months the bosses have not been getting it all
their own way as migrant workers have started to collectively
organise. The largest dispute to date involved GAMA
construction which was both massivly underpaying Turkish
construction workers and forcing them to work many unpaid
hours of overtime. Strike action by the Turkish workers forced
the payment of significant amounts of extra money and the
'discovery' of a large percentage of their wages in accounts in
the Netherlands that they were not aware of.

It now appears the multi-national supermarket chain TESCOs
are the next company to be exposed. A picket took place at
their Distribution depot in Dublin today which is located in the
suburbs at Greenhills Road.

The WSM first became aware of the issue late yesterday after
receiving an email from Poland via a comrade in Italy
(globalisation cuts both ways). The text of this email follows
(edited to remove full names).

We received a statement by a Committee of Defence of Temp
Workers in Tesco in Dublin organized by Polish temp workers.
They organized after two temp workers, Z. B. and R. S. were
laid off from Tesco Distribution on Greenhills Road in Dublin.
They were fired for protesting against continuous rising of
daily norms and criticizing the recruitment system (leasing
employees from temp agencies Grafton and Jobs).

The Committee of Defence of Temp Workers in Tesco
demands:

1. Cancel the layoff for the fired workers

2. Making a rule that a temp worker who worked longer than
3 months gets a permanent contract with all benefits

3. Tesco must get rid of the daily norm of 1000 boxes.

The Committee will organize a protest at the gate of the
wholesale department on July 28th (this thursday) at 13:30
Dublin time. Demands will be passed to management during
the picket. If the demands are ignored, the Committee will call
for a strike at Tesco Distribution and a blockade of the
wholesale department.

WSM members who attended the picket to show solidarity
reported that a short strike had taken place in the depot that
morning and that around a dozen workers were picketing the
gate over lunch. The workers who were Polish reported that
protests are also taking place in Poland today in solidarity with
their struggle.

The workers had made two banners for the picket one of which
showed cartoon of a worker being torn apart between TESCOs
and the temp agency.

It is estimated that there are over 50,000 Polish workers in
Ireland.

More on GAMA at
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1028

A simialr dispute at Irish Ferries

The stand up for your rights campaign that WSM members are
involved in.
========================================
* WSM is an Iris anarchist federation

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