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(en) Poland, Opole - Holand, Amsterdam, international(ist) class war Action

Date Sat, 14 Mar 2009 10:18:20 +0200

Today about 25-30 people took part in the occupation of the office of Groen Flex work
agency in Opole, Poland. (For background of the case in English, see below and here:
The activists, demanded to talk to the boss and would not leave until he appeared. In the
meanwhile, the office was closed for business. ---- The boss man later showed up but only
wanted to speak in private with one person. People refused and instead the whole
discussion was filmed by TV crews. The guy was claiming all sort of contractatory things
but also said that as soon as they get the hospital bill they will pay it. But at the same
time he was saying it didn't depend on him, but on the Eurocontract people in Holland
since the Polish registered entity was not the employer, only the Dutch one.

Eventually people left but promised that they would be back with a larger group of people
if the demands were not met.

On the same day, members of AGA (Anarchist Group of Amsterdam) visited the workers' hotel
where Groen Flex employees live, the shipyards where the accident took place and the
office of Groen Flex. These actions were extremely helpful in getting contacts with some
people, including a witness and another person who has a case against Groen Flex. AGA also
helped in many ways prior to this action, including getting the labour inspectors on this
case. (PS - The company didn't tell the inspectors the truth, but surely the truth will
come out.) Everybody thanks them for their help and solidarity.

The action in Opole was organized by ZSP and IP Czestochowa. People from Anarchist
Federation, some other IP and Fabryka in Opole also took part.

Some photos of the action are here:

---------------------- Back Grownd -------------------------

Czytelnik CIA, Wto, 2009-03-03 20:57 English

Last month we were informed of the case of a Polish worker who had major troubles with his
employer, a temporary work agency called EUROCONTRACT, and the Polish firm Groenflex.
Michalek was sent to work in Holland by Groenflex a work agency in Opole in December. He
was supposed to be picking vegetables and had a contract for 78 weeks.

The contract he signed in Poland was only a preliminary one; when in Holland he had to
sign a different one, with the firm EUROCONTRACT. Instead of working picking vegetables,
Michalek was sent to work in a shipyard, without any special training. In a few days, he
was sent to clean chemicals without protective clothing. He lost consciousness and was
rushed to the cardiology department of the hospital.

Instead of taking any care of their employee, EUROCONTRACT simply terminated the contract
with Michalek. He returned home to Poland. Then he found out that he owed the hospital
almost 3000 euros.

In the past month, we have been investigating the situation and have made contact with
others who have been misled, abused or had their rights violated by EUROCONTRACT/GROEN
FLEX. Such abuse most probably concerns hundreds of workers; there are already dozens of
documented complaints against the firm. Some workers have contacted the prosecutors office
or tried to start lawsuits in Poland but found that Groen Flex was not a party to the
employment contract and a case would have to be lodged in the Netherlands.

Our Preliminary Findings

1. The relation between Groenflex and Eurocontract is unclear and many workers are unclear
who their employer is. Many employees believe this is the exact same company. In Holland
they maintain a joint website. http://www.groenflex.nl The system of recruitment through
Groenflex is misleading.

2. The preliminary contact is misleading for most employees.

3. Promises made in Opole concerning work duties, location of employment, living quarters,
work hours and wages are often not kept in Holland.

4. Workers are carted to different worksites. Often they are not informed and do not know
the name of the end-user emplyer.

5. Eurocontract and Groenflex has ignored some of their employees in cases where the
end-user employer has endagered the health and safety of the employees.

6. Eurocontract has broken and terminated contracts with no reason, notice or compensation.

7. Eurocontract has failed on numerous occasions to ensure that end-user employers provide
proper health and safety training and equipment.

8. Workers have complained that both companies have misinformed them, misled them or not
properly informed them of their rights.

9. Both companies have failed to respond to employee complaints and concerns.

10. Workers have poor legal recourse when they are abused; they must bring their cases in
Holland which dissuades most from taking legal action.

11. Workers are often not provided with full-time work, although they are promised this in
Poland and often have days without any work.

12. Workers are housed in a living quarters which inspired many complaints including
weekly controls, curfews and searching personal items in the Wateringen hotel and having
the cost of meals automatically deducted from wages regardless of whether you want them or

13. Some people who signed contracts for several months of work were sent home early
because there was no work for them. There have been people who have gone to Holland,
stayed a week without work and then been told to go home. They were not given compensation.

14. There have been reports of people sent to Holland even without a preliminary
agreement, which is against the law.

15. Reports of late payments, especially of first payments, 2-3 months late.

Our Demands

1. Cooperation of Groenflex and Eurocontract in the case of Michalek for obtaining
compensation for his hospital bill and all compensation he is seeking from the end-user
employer and employer.

2. Ensuring that all workers receive proper health and safety training, equipment and care
from their end-user employers.

3. Providing perspective employees with the final contract to be signed in Poland, not
Holland. The contract should be signed with the Polish legal entity, not the Dutch one.

4. The job description should be clearly stated in the contract. Workers should be
compensated should this work not be available.

5. Contracts should not be terminated early without reason. Failure to provide employment
should be treated as breach of contract on the part of the employer and should require
compensation to the employee.

6. All payments should be made on time, to the bank of the employees choice or in cash.
Employees should not be forced to open accounts in a specific bank.

7. All employees should be informed of the name of the end-user employer where they are

8. In the case of industrial accident or other unfortunate circumstances, the agency
should help the worker obtain compensation from the end-user employer.

9. The agency should make sure that employee insurance has started before their first day
on the job. Employees should receive evidence of being insured from the agency when
insurance payments are deducted from their wages.

10. The agency in Opole must stop misleading potential employees by making false promises
or misrepresenting the work to be performed or other aspects of the employment.

The attitude of Groen Flex is abhorrable; when Michalek contacted them about his problems
he was treated rudely and summarily told to "go to court". Eurocontract may expect legal
problems - such disregard is not acceptable. In addition, we will do everything we can now
to inform potential employees about your unfair and illegal practices, to dissuade them
from using your agencies and to encourage current or former employees to organize
themselves against this abuse. You can expect trouble from us. Although we know we are not
able to match Eurocontract or Groenflex in the amount of damage done to wreck people's
lives, we will try to give them the fight you deserve, They think they are untouchable,
but they can be touched, pushed and even wrecked.

ZSP, Union of Syndicalists
Dodaj nową odpowiedź
* ZSP, Union of Syndicalists is of the anarchist spectrum
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