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(en) Poland, INICJATYWA PRACOWNICZA - WORKERS' INITIATIVE: WORKERS WILD WEST: Recover strength - living space, friendship and support network [machine translation]
Wed, 20 Dec 2017 08:56:21 +0200
We recommend your attention to https://workerswildwest.wordpress.com , where you will find
online issues of the WORKERS WILD WEST newspaper from west London. The newspaper also
features articles in Polish, addressed to Polish migrants. We reprint one of them: ----
Recover strength - living space, friendship and support network. ---- We live in a strange
world. We spend more time at work than with friends and family. At work, we lose most of
our lives, but we say that we can separate our work from private life. We do not want to
take work seriously, because nobody at work treats us seriously. The creative potential
and life energy of billions of people are wasted due to the prevailing way of organizing
work. ---- Democration? You're kidding! ---- They tell us that we live in a democracy,
but in the place where we spend most of our lives, we have nothing to say. Work is
organized in such a way as to make it difficult to make friends or develop them. The
machines are too loud, the assembly line is fast (often we pay attention to "stop
talking"), people come and go so "why learn about each other?", Some think that they will
get a better position when they show that they are better employees than those "lazy".
Despite the story of "teamwork", competition between employees is still growing. The work
is monotonous and makes us barely live, so how to make contacts with others?
Some steps to regain real control!
It is true that we do not control what is happening in our company, what and how we
produce, who and why it is employed or dismissed. However, we can start by creating
conditions that are convenient for yourself and others, places where there are no
standards to be met, and for that there are conditions for contact with others.
* Take a breath of pressure at work and try not to compete with others. Do not work faster
than others, try to work more slowly and give more time to colleagues. Convince others.
* Do not give management to others. If you have a problem, talk to your colleagues
directly, together you will find a solution.
* Respect newly employed and employed agencies, even if you expect not to stay for long.
Explain the relationship in the plant and that there is no point in getting rid of dog money.
* Help others if the managers shout, discipline or humiliate them. If there are more of
you, you can ask the manager for an apology.
* On a break, instead of staring at a mobile phone, try to talk to others about the
weather, work, life. Try to break language barriers, not everyone is good at English, so
if someone is trying, be patient.
* Take as little overtime as possible. Although everyone needs money, it pays off only in
the short term. In the long run, they will force people to work longer for the same money.
We can demand more!
These are small steps, but thanks to them, the atmosphere at work changes. They will help
us when we demand more. This will not happen overnight. We can start with the closest
colleagues whom we trust.
There are always at least small conflicts with the management about the speed of work,
overtime, directing employees to worse jobs or worse, for promised permanent employment,
non-payment of supplements, disciplinary procedures, etc.
We usually accept these changes, we say that nothing can be done to do or that others do
not want to join. We often justify our fear by saying that "the only option is to strike,
but nobody wants to strike." There are, however, some things that can be done and do not
put yourself in too much danger.
* Purchase a group of colleagues, just a few people.
* Talk about small steps that can be taken to show managers that people are unhappy.
* You can strictly follow the rules of health and safety, perform only those tasks that
are recorded in the contract. Such a slowdown usually has a strong impact.
* Find ways to stop machine or computer activity so that you do not risk yourself and
others. Find ways to slow down your work so that managers are not able to find out who is
* Another way could be an unofficial boycott of overtime, which will show you have enough,
but it will not put you in danger. The more people join, the more you will gain.
* Do the job, but do not talk to the boss, do not tell them good morning or goodbye. If
everyone sticks to it, managers will feel it over time and may consider changes in favor
* Find a way to present your demands without appointing a representative, the managers
will throw him out or bribe him. We do not need heroes but common actions!
* Try to talk to employees from other departments and convince yourself to similar
activities, eg during a meeting after work.
* Sometimes the management does not like when the media or company's clients find out that
their employees are not dissatisfied or when the standards may not be met. You can do it
or threaten that you will do it, but in such a way that you will not reveal yourself to
There are many ways to put pressure on bosses. The more people join in the better, but
even a small group can make life difficult for them. The problem is that you do not reveal
yourself and avoid an open fight that you can lose.
Work and after work - why join the Workers Wild West support network?
Being poor is not fun, especially when you are alone. However, if you join others and
support us, then we can protect ourselves better. For this reason, we have established a
support network in West London.
Many of us often change jobs, but its conditions are similar everywhere. Problems occur at
work, but are often not limited to it. After work, instead of fighting with the company's
management, we fight with the landlord, job center officials or the state administration.
Politicians set us against each other - local workers against immigrants, followers of
Jesus against the followers of Muhammad. They want us to fight for the scuffles thrown at
us. We must oppose this and defend ourselves. We do not need leaders. What and how can we do?
We meet every week at various locations in Southall, Acton, Park Royal and Greenford. If
you or your friends have a problem, come to one meeting place, write an e-mail or call. We
will discuss the problem and see how to put pressure on people who want to throw you out
or evict you, etc. These are a few examples:
* The ASAP agency from Greenford did not pay for paid vacation. Employees called and sent
reminder, but this had no effect. We prepared leaflets, we went to the office in eight
people, we threatened that we would not leave it until we were paid and that we would
inform new people arriving at the office about how the agency works. Within half an hour
we got the outstanding money.
* The department dealing with housing allowances in Ealing refused to pay a three-month
allowance to one of our friends, who is an immigrant from the EU and has been working in
the UK for eight years. We sent several appeals and eventually we came to the Watford
court of appeal, we did not need a lawyer. Finally, the friend regained the overdue allowance.
* Southall visa broker collected 10,000 £ from a colleague working in a warehouse. In
exchange for this sum, he promised IT training, a work visa and employment. He did not
keep his promise and refused to return the money when a friend demanded it. We blocked his
office and threatened to make pickets under his three training offices. He gradually
returned the entire sum.
* The temporary employment agency "Hays" did not pay the street cleaner the salary for
three days of work. He sent a reminder, but eventually distributed the leaflets to other
employees of the Amey recycling center in Greenford. He also threatened to inform the
media about it. Eventually, they paid the overdue salary.
* Templine temporary employment agency in Sainsbury still harassing a friend because of
several sick days confirmed by sick leave. We wrote a complaint, so they gave him a break.
The more we are, the more we will achieve. This is not just about regaining what belongs
to us. This is about employee awareness and building local solidarity against the poverty
in which we live!
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