A - I n f o s

a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **
News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts Our archives of old posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Greek_ 中文 Chinese_ Castellano_ Catalan_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement

The First Few Lines of The Last 10 posts in:
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours

Links to indexes of first few lines of all posts of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006 | of 2007 | of 2008 | of 2009 | of 2010 | of 2011 | of 2012 | of 2013 | of 2014 | of 2015 | of 2016 | of 2017

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF - How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups

(en) Poland, WORKERS' INITIATIVE: Amazon: No one wants to be in the machine. Interview [machine translation]

Date Sat, 28 Oct 2017 09:15:33 +0300


The end of the year is approaching. For many of us it means the beginning of a very intense period: extra working hours, faster pace, less time to regenerate. Increasing work intensity can also mean increased conflicts between employees and bosses. One of the establishments that pay special attention during the holiday season is Amazon. Below we publish an interview with an employee of Amazon, summarizing what was happening in the magazine within a year. ---- Working in Amazon is an everyday experience very far-fetched. Counts every minute when you have not performed work visible to the IT system. --- Mikolaj Iwanski: The third year has passed since the Amazons storage center has been operating in Sadno. From the very beginning, there is the Employee Initiative Commission. Recently in the media about the action "Safe Pack", which you organized in connection with summer promotions and sales peak. What was it?

Magda, Employee Initiative: In July, a promotional action called "Prime Day" is held in July - it's the second most intense period outside of Christmas. We organized an information campaign for employees, pointing out that in this difficult time one should not undergo the pressure of the employer, only to remember in particular about his health and safety regulations. We also took part in a press conference, which aimed to convey information about working conditions in the Amazon. We felt that in the face of a very intense advertising campaign - billboards, etc. - supporting the current mass recruitment, it is necessary to talk about how the working conditions in the Amazon look from the perspective of employees.

Breaking the rules of health and safety is not the only problem with which you will meet recently.

Their main problem is that they will be employed by the employment agency. If they do not meet the standards imposed by Amazon, it will be very easy to get rid of them. In practice, this means that, for example, sick leave actually excludes the chance of extending the contract. We do not have exact rotation data, but I have been working in Amazon for two years and hundreds of people who have started with me have seen three more. The terms of employment have also changed: after a three-month trial contract, you receive an annual fixed-term contract and an indefinite-term contract. This increases the time needed to obtain a permanent employment contract for up to two years - while the statistics quoted by our colleagues, union workers from Germany show that the average working time in this company is about three years.

In 2015 you were in a collective dispute with the management of Amazon. longer time graphs, traineeship allowances, wage increases, and changes in how breaks are planned. Mediation was aborted by the employer. Have your actions taken some long-term effect?

In fact, after difficult negotiations that denied all our demands, Amazon's board broke the required mediation stage, which was supposed to prevent us from carrying out a warning strike - effectively. In 2016 a strike referendum took place, in which 2 thousand participants took part. of employees, or 30% of all employees. 98% of them voted in favor, but that was not enough. Polish law makes it difficult to meet the requirements of the organizers of a legal strike. In Germany, for example, the referendum is conducted only among its members, in Italy and in many other countries the right to strike is guaranteed by the constitution, if workers are forced to do so, simply strike. In Poland, negotiations, mediations, referendums, Keep all formalities and deadlines in accordance with the law and you can only think of a strike. Sometimes they pass the month before moving on to the next stage, the situation on the factory is changing, the employees are burned to run the dispute. This is a broader problem - in 2016, there were 5 legal strikes across the country! This has been the case for many years, although the situation on the local labor market was not impressive. Only this year the statistics have changed. Only 1.5 thousand were registered in the first half of the year. There are probably a lot of them in schools. Growth in protests may also be conducive to the decline in unemployment - workers feel more confident and ready to fight for their rights. Employees are burned out by litigation. This is a broader problem - in 2016, there were 5 legal strikes across the country! This has been the case for many years, although the situation on the local labor market was not impressive. Only this year the statistics have changed. Only 1.5 thousand were registered in the first half of the year. There are probably a lot of them in schools. Growth in protests may also be conducive to the decline in unemployment - workers feel more confident and ready to fight for their rights. Employees are burned out by litigation. This is a broader problem - in 2016, there were 5 legal strikes across the country! This has been the case for many years, although the situation on the local labor market was not impressive. Only this year the statistics have changed. Only 1.5 thousand were registered in the first half of the year. There are probably a lot of them in schools. Growth in protests may also be conducive to the decline in unemployment - workers feel more confident and ready to fight for their rights. Probably a lot of them took place in schools. Growth in protests may also be conducive to the decline in unemployment - workers feel more confident and ready to fight for their rights. Probably a lot of them took place in schools. Growth in protests may also be conducive to the decline in unemployment - workers feel more confident and ready to fight for their rights.

Nevertheless, the company introduced a trainee shortly afterwards, with more workers receiving permanent contracts - unfortunately, the employment policy was recently re-based on junk contracts. In 2016 we also received a decent holiday bonus. This was caused by, among others. ongoing disputes and publicity of trade unions. The referendum nevertheless showed that 2 thous. People are determined to fight for better working conditions. Amazon could not remain indifferent.

Is it possible to put pressure on the employer and improve working conditions despite the lack of effective legal tools?

Since 2015, we have been organizing International Meetings of Amazone Workers. The first took place in Poznan. Initially, Amazona's employees from Poland and Germany participated in the event and organized German support groups for Amazona employees. In time we joined the staff of France, and we are also in contact with the crew from Spain. We have contacts with the logistics sector in Italy, where regular protest actions are being carried out. Most of the employees in this industry in Italy are immigrants from North Africa and the Balkans - their experience is especially valuable to us because breaking through the divisions among the workers and building a strategy of network-based protests, they have won stricter working conditions and higher salaries.

These international meetings allow us to perceive differences, sometimes striking, in the approach of one employer in different countries. Amazon always operates at the level of minimum standards required by local labor law and market. Coordination helps us in the flow of information and planning of joint actions - for example, in 2015, when the German Amazons center was out, a large part of the burden was transferred to Polish troops. Polish workers spontaneously slowed down their work, which was the first act of international solidarity. Also, the "Safe Pack" action we were talking about was broader - it was conducted in Leipzig and Saran centers near Paris. The experience of many years of functioning of the Amazon centers in Europe shows that effective actions must involve more than one center - only then such actions as,

It seems that logistics is an extremely difficult field to carry out penny stocks.

It is no more difficult than elsewhere. Even if the Italian experience shows that it is possible to organize effectively - we have to deal with the concentration of workers in relatively small spaces. The key is to accurately map the entire supply chain - besides storage centers we also have transport, including maritime, rail, and manufacturing facilities. Part of the work must be done in a specific location and it can not easily be transferred to another continent - ultimately logistics is a service provided to a very specific customer. In addition, work in this industry is often precarious and is performed by people who are unskilled, very poorly paid. It all creates a perspective of employee fighting strategies completely different from the past.

At the recent G20 summit in Hamburg there was an effective blockade of entry into the huge harbor, which resulted in multi-hour traffic jams and delays in unloading and loading of tugs. It was more than a symbolic gesture, showing that it was still possible to disrupt capitalist logic through organized resistance. Logistics on the one hand involves the mass of employees, on the other hand has many sensitive points, giving these employees the strength. It is expected that in this branch of the labor struggle will gain new dynamics.

Are standards in the Amazon talking about the future of the Polish labor market?

Amazon is primarily focused on the scale of the action and the great advertising hype that it presents as a great employer. In the meantime, many other large plants are offering better working conditions. What really sets Amazon apart is the pace of expansion. In the near future two additional centers will be opened - and this is not the relocation of Western European plants, but the result of market expansion. The work relations themselves are extremely subordinate to the logic of efficiency, in the spirit of very strict handler. Interestingly, the logistics industry has a lot to do with the military complex. The American Amazon is eager to hire former military executives as managerial leaders and serial veterans as production leaders, rewarding their experience with Afghanistan or Iraq. Working in Amazon is a daily experience very far-fetched; If you do not work for an IT system for more than 3 minutes, eg a tape dispenser is jammed, it is recorded and summed. Any such downtime can be considered as an additional break and break of the work regulations. This is a tremendous pressure, because even the best motivated worker is a man, not a robot.

Employees are subordinate?

Of course not. They resist each day. No one wants to be brought into the role of mode in the machine. This is done through simple acts of disobedience - early departure, slower work, failure to perform part of the duties, use of gaps in the system to its own advantage, questioning decisions and orders of superiors, regular exit to the toilet, which in many departments is the cause of disputes with superiors. This is nothing but, in this way, employees are fighting for their subjectivity and oppose the complete subordination of their working life.

Amazon is also trying to discourage workers from taking medical leave.

Yes, the ambition of control goes beyond the workplace. At the beginning of this year, German employees were given the opportunity to receive a freqance bonus calculated for lack of absenteeism in a given team. The goal was to exert pressure on each other not to take redundancies. At the same time, the Polish branch of the company started to use the services of an external company that checked the use of medical leave. This involves visiting the home where they are not always admitted. By the way, employees fill out a questionnaire about their situation in the company. The company officially admits visits to sick neighbors or physicians issuing vacancies, which in the future may discourage them from sending our colleagues to the disease. We have legal doubts, Is the transfer of sensitive personal data to an outside company at all reasonable? Amazon's actions are intended to intimidate employees not to leave work. Those who go to release are called cheaters. There is an insufficient amount of leave and breaks and low wages, which are not always enough to use such services as babysitter, ready-made food, laundry or repair of your own car.

Amazon is very on view. Few employers are so interested in the media. It's the result of your committee's work.

Amazon aroused great interest even before it started operating in Poland. The fact that it has managed to organize a well-functioning, relatively large commission in the Saddles, is a signal for employees in other industries. Amazon is making huge money using the neo-liberal standard still in force in Poland and the neo-liberal language spoken by most of the Polish elites. In principle, it does not treat trade unions as a partner to talk about terms of pay and employment, preferring to talk to employees without intermediaries. As a result, our wages are determined on the basis of earnings data in the local area and across the industry. Similarly, it is in other companies.

The average wage in the Amazon is about 2600 PLN gross, which is a bit higher than the national minimum. Payments are paid in a very negligible way - regularly underdevelopment, errors, we get underdogs, which only after appeals are compensated. The fight for better working conditions and higher salaries in places like Amazon has an impact on the position of other workers and the general standards of work. That's why we need to support each other. This is the only way to permanently break the spiral of low wages and disobey the eight-hour workday. No top-level regulation made at the political level will allow for a lasting change.

Interview with Mikolaj Iwanski was published on April 24, 2017 at: http://krytykapolityczna.pl/kraj/amazon-nikt-nie-chce-byc-trybem-w-maszynie/

http://ozzip.pl/teksty/publicystyka/item/2310-amazon-nikt-nie-chce-byc-trybem-w-maszynie-wywiad
_________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
By, For, and About Anarchists
Send news reports to A-infos-en mailing list
A-infos-en@ainfos.ca
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://ainfos.ca/mailman/listinfo/a-infos-en
Archive: http://ainfos.ca/en
A-Infos Information Center