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(en) Poland, ozzip: Avon Distribution: There is no consent for a pay cut and longer settlement period [machine translation]

Date Thu, 14 May 2020 10:04:27 +0300

KZ Presidium at Avon Distribution with a petition supporting the union's demands ---- Negotiations between the management board of Avon Distribution and the Employee Initiative committee regarding the introduction of solutions from the so-called "Government's anti-crisis shield." Trade unionists and trade unionists from Avon do not agree to the pay cuts proposed by the company and a longer settlement period - instead they demand reducing wage inequalities, guaranteeing employment for six months and eliminating 12-hour shifts. On May 5, the company's authorities received a petition supporting union demands with signatures of 161 employees (for approx. 350 employees and employees of the company). ---- In mid-April, the management of Avon proposed to the IP commission to sign an agreement containing the following solutions:
- reduction of remuneration and working time by 20% (where the working time could be unilaterally changed by the employer)
- extension of the reference period from 3 to 6 months,
- suspension most of the provisions of the remuneration regulations,
- employment guarantee for a period of 3 months, but only if you receive government financial support.
These changes would affect only people in the lowest paid positions, such as: warehouseman, maintenance mechanic or operator of the order picking line. Therefore, the "shield" would not include the management or some of the employees of the office.

Trade unionists and trade unionists from the Workers' Initiative did not agree to sign such an agreement. Instead, they applied to the company for information on the financial situation and indicated the possibility of covering losses caused by a decrease in turnover from reserve capital and last year's profits. According to the calculations of colleagues from the committee at Avon Distribution, the reserve capital that the company has at its disposal would allow financing the maintenance of the current employment status and current wages for a period of about 5 years.

The union also proposed its version of the agreement in which it agrees to join the shield on slightly different conditions. Employee salary in the agreement proposed by the union is reduced by 10% (because a lower salary would cause some employees to fall well below 2600 gross). The association offers the company to suspend layoffs for 6 months, and to suspend 12-hour (twelve-hour shifts) for the duration of the dial. On the other hand, proposals for extending the settlement period and partial suspension of the remuneration regulations were categorically rejected. The union is also against unilateral changes in the reduced working time.

The union's proposal has not been accepted by the company yet and in the course of the talks group dismissal suggestions appeared. One employee, a member of the Employee Initiative, concluded that during talks on the part of the management board, there were statements that "you will either sign the agreement or we will slow down". In response, the union organized a collection of signatures for a petition supporting union demands - it was signed by over 50% of the total crew, which is a clear signal to the management board that the union's proposals have much broader support than only among those associated in the Workers' Initiative.

It should be noted that Avon is a company that in its official advertising materials strongly emphasizes concern for the situation of women. In one such material you can read, for example, that:

"(...) Avon has been supporting women's entrepreneurship since 1886, giving them the opportunity to work on their own terms. The company helped them gain economic independence even before they were given the right to vote."

Trade unionists and unionists from the Workers' Initiative comment on this as follows: "Until recently, the company boasted that it is celebrating Women's Day every day, and now divides these women into better and worse, taking a significant part of the salary of those who earn the least."

Despite this, the Avon crew do not give up and do not intend to agree either to an adverse agreement under the "shield" or to dismissal. In the coming weeks, it will be decided who will pay for the coronavirus crisis.

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