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(en) Poland, WORKERS' INITIATIVE: Amazon - without fighting do not count on giving you more. [machine translation]

Date Sat, 26 Aug 2017 23:07:25 +0300


July is for hundreds of thousands of Amazon employees a very intensive period. At this time, the company celebrates its birthday by organizing mass sales. Their peak moment is mid-summer and is celebrated under the name Prime Day. ---- The corporation is preparing for this event from the beginning of July. For the first half of the month, employees have frozen holidays, extended shifts (up to 52 hours a week), work under greater pressure. In addition, Amazon worldwide stores (the so-called Fulfillment Center) outstrip performance, trying to set new shipping records. For managers it is a chance to get very high bonuses, for the serial employees it only involves greater emphasis on productivity, increased control and fatigue. ---- US analysts estimate Amazon sold $ 600 million worth of Prime Day last year. This year, in July, Jeff Bezos was declared the world's richest man, with a fortune worth $ 90 billion. Employees in Poland for work at the summit summoned a symbolic freqwenowy allowance in the amount of 150zl gross, which was supposed to motivate for regular arrival at work.

The wage disparity between first-level employees and managers and managers is so great that conflicts on their ground are unavoidable. In addition, in the summer season decisions are made on the growth of wages. In France, wage negotiations are taking place, resulting from the law in force. In Poland, Amazon completes the review of wages. This is a survey of wages in selected establishments and industries and the situation on the local labor market, on the basis of which the company decides to increase wages. This way of calculating wages is also applied by other companies. Firms do not take into account the profits that workers make, and the availability of cheap labor and salaries in nearby or similar establishments, which is uneven. In view of the remuneration review as the OZZ Employee Initiative, we directed to the management a list of claims, based on the survey conducted at the plant. Among them were: a 30% increase in the basic rate, the introduction of a thirteenth salary on a French model, the introduction of a higher German traineeship, a holiday under a pear from the Social Fund. Postulates were one of the topics of the last meeting of the OZZ Employee Initiative with representatives of the company.

Not only wages are the cause of disputes between employees and corporate executives. Amazon constantly improves the discipline and control model of employees to squeeze as much work out of them as possible at the least cost. In Poland in April introduced a program called. "Home visits" consisting in controlling people on sick leave. Amazon wants to "intimidate" employees whose health is deteriorated so they do not benefit from medical redundancy. In addition, some departments try to increase the control of the exit to the toilet or interruptions, or so. "Time off task" - a time in which no computer-aware activities, such as product scanning, are performed. If such situations last more than 3 minutes are recorded in the system, counted and interpreted as an additional interval, Means breaking rules of work. This happens even if an employee longer than 3 minutes repairs damaged equipment or checks the order and the products that it processes. At the same time, at the beginning of the summer, the company worsened the employment model. Earlier, after about half a year's employment by temporary employment agencies and a three-month trial contract, some people managed to get a permanent job contract. Currently, you need to work an additional year on a fixed-term contract. This increases the period of unstable employment from less than a year to almost two years, with employees who do not leave early, withstand an average of about 3 years in the Amazon. As an Employee Initiative, we asked why the annual trial contracts were introduced, the HR department replied:

Do not over temp, work safely!

Restrictive workforce management and unstable conditions coinciding with low wages face resistance from the world of work, which at times of intense sales, such as the July Prime Day, is gaining momentum. At the beginning of the summer season, once again by the German magazine Amazon, a wave of strikes has passed. Employees from Leipzig, Augsburg, Bad Hersfeld, Rheinberg and Werne joined the Verdi trade union, demanding a Labor Agreement to guarantee higher wages. Strikes also took place in France. Workers from the union of Solid Soliders of FC in Orléans near Paris demanded better working conditions, greater stability and higher wages. At that time, one of the unionists from the CGT headquarters was released, which the trade unions responded to in a campaign against repression and labor camp protests. In the center of Poznan, a support group for Amazon employees made billboards showing the unequal distribution of profits in corporations. At one of them we organized a press conference informing the public about the situation and conflicts in Poland and abroad as well as the requests addressed to us a few days earlier by the employer.

Apart from locally organized activities, during the hottest sales season together with the crew of the Solid Solids of Orléans Orleans, ORY1 and LEJ1 activists, we managed to co-ordinate the "Safe Pack" action. Its purpose was to draw attention to the health and safety issues of employees, which at the peak of time are ignored by business because of "business needs". It is worth adding that bosses often use occupational health and safety regulations to reinforce hierarchies in the workplace, charge subordinates for accidents at work, control them or discipline them (repressive for union activity, punish them when working during rest or try to facilitate Work in the plant). This creates the appearance of caring for the health and safety of employees. In fact, BHP is becoming a tool for increasing pressure on the health of the plant. That is why we distributed a leaflet in the Orleans, Leipzig, and Poland magazines, which mentions what actually affects the physical condition of employees: regular drinking and using the toilet, using all rest breaks, abandoning lifting too heavy objects Reporting overloaded locations, abandoning unsuitable jobs, avoiding haste and routine, etc.

In response to the "Safe Pack", the board of directors of the French FC considered it necessary to demonstrate to the public that it was taking steps to promote the health of workers. In Poland, managers were forced to recall the rules of regular drinking water, which often requires moving to another part of the magazine and slowing down the pace of work. Ultimately this year in the post-Soviet FC failed to pack in the right time as many parcels as were intended. It was decided not only to develop the discussion on health and safety but also, first and foremost, a number of organizational errors committed by management and high absenteeism. In spite of this, "Safe Pack" has forced Amazon to respond to health-related issues raised by employees. Even a small, symbolic activity,

Together we are stronger.

After the action Leipzig employees sent a letter to the other Amazonians taking part in it, writing: "Our earnings vary a lot, but one thing we share: our working conditions![...]This common request is the starting point for our joint efforts. Let's continue to fight for healthy working conditions and fair wages! We are already looking forward to the next joint action - including coordinated strikes!

Amazon employs nearly 400,000 people in hundreds of warehouses worldwide. From year to year this number increases by several tens of thousands. Most are first level employees. We live in different countries with different labor laws, we speak different languages, we have different skin color, we function in other socio-economic conditions. In spite of these divisions we have more in common with those who manage us - leaders, managers, HR. Many of us count on being subordinated to the regime imposed by the managers of the work regime, or loyalty to the superiors instead of the rest of the workers, resulting in a promotion. Unfortunately, advancement meets only very few and is most often associated with compromising duties like the discipline of discipline and reporting on their recent colleagues. Instead of destroying our unity, By striving to achieve a precarious individual success we can take advantage of it by improving the working and pay conditions of all of us. It combines us in what conditions do we work, what role we play in our workplaces and what we want - dignified life and retrieval of subjectivity.

Amazon knows how to use relationships between employees against us. The official stance against the strike in Germany was: "Strikes have no bearing on the promise made to the company by Prime Day. Logistic centers in Germany and throughout Europe are prepared for the protest action and have increased their stock levels accordingly[...]. With the support of the remaining 31 magazines from other European countries, customers will receive fast and good service as usual. "We need to learn to use what we associate with us every day in our work against Amazon. Together we have been able to provide the company's founder with the first place on the list of the richest people in the world. We certainly know how to work together so we can regain our wealth and use it for our needs.

Intercompany Commission of OZZ IP at Amazon Poland

More photos and information about the billboard activity: http://www.rozbrat.org/informacje/poznan/4546-artisan-magazine-amazon-with-bez-granic

http://ozzip.pl/teksty/publicystyka/item/2292-amazon-bez-walki-nie-licz-ze-damy-ci-wiecej
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