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(en) Poland, ozzip - WORKERS' INITIATIVE: Report from the Workers' Union OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza (12-13.05.2018) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 22 May 2018 08:05:44 +0300

On May 12-13 this year. in Poznan, the Workers' Union OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza was held. Several dozen people from various committees of our IP came to discuss the program problems and the current functioning of the union. ---- Demands - working time and increases ---- As stated in the Congress 'announcements, during the last year committees functioning as part of the Employee Initiative started two important discussions related to the condition of the workers' movement. The first concerned planned changes in collective and individual labor law. The second of the debates was related to the situation of female budget sector employees, who in March this year decided to extend the fight against anti-woman policy conducted by local government authorities by organizing the Social Congress of Women (SKK).

During SKK, members and members of the IP developed a joint list of postulates that are intended to improve the economic situation of working people. Although they have been articulated by women, they apply to all employees, regardless of gender. The findings of SKK in the part concerning the employee issue were the starting point for the discussion at the Working Party. Was taken, among others such issues as reducing the weekly working time to 35 hours, the problem of length of commuting to work, and finally planning work time on the premises (breaks at work, work schedule, etc.). After an interesting discussion on this subject, it was decided to start preparations for an independent campaign of the Employee Initiative to shorten working time, under which information materials based on the experience of our commissions in this field will be prepared. References for us here are the voices coming from, among others from nurseries employees, Amazon employees, Volkswagen, crane operators, industrial plant protection employees, etc.

From the issue of working time, the discussion smoothly changed to the problems of wages and the construction of strategies for actions aimed at increasing pay. Once again, it was found that - despite the theoretically favorable macroeconomic situation - many groups of employees and employees continue to be rewarded at just above the minimum wage and definitely below the national average. In the fight for higher wages is not conducive the fact that employers conceal the remuneration structure in individual workplaces. For example, in Poznan, workers and employees of units financed from the municipal budget (communal services, theaters, cultural centers, galleries, nurseries, etc.), deem it necessary to require adequate, fairly uniform, quarterly reports for trade unions, which would allow tracking the pay movement and their comparison between individual bets and job positions. It is required to prepare a design template appropriate form for use in the daily activities of all committees. The issue of relations between the fixed part (base) and the variable (bonuses and rewards) of remuneration was also discussed - this issue has for the moment been the subject of preliminary discussion and requires a more detailed analysis based on the situation at individual workplaces.

In addition to reducing the length of working time and raising wages, there are also such demands as: employment under employment contracts, employee control in the scope of labor standards, general health insurance, social control over self-government finances, general retirement. They will be analyzed and supplemented by a union that treats these postulates as a starting point for program work, updating the current "Program Guidelines" adopted at the 9th National Congress of Delegates and Delegates in 2015.

Changes in the labor law
In the second half of March 2018, the Codifying Commission for Labor Law completed its activity. Shortly thereafter, the government announced that the collective and individual labor law it prepared would not be "proceeded in this form". The Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policy, Elzbieta Rafalska, stated that in the coming months, the ministry will prepare an assessment of the consequences of the regulation, and "some proposals of the Commission" will be presented "as proposals for the amendment of the Labor Code". Of course, it is not known when the amendment will be notified or how exactly it will look.

Parliament is already working on the amendment of the Trade Unions Act. It contains a few changes, the most important of which is the control of the number of trade union members by the court, excluding the possibility of familiarizing the employer with the list of union members. The amendment also assumes that the representative thresholds will be raised from 7% (representative organizations on a national scale) and 10% (small associations), to - analogously - 8% and 15%. The second change is clearly unfavorable for smaller organizations (including OZZ IP), to which approx. 1/5 of all members and members of trade unions belong; violates the principle of trade union pluralism and is a further privilege of large trade unions.

Unification of unions and current activities of OZZ IP
At the congress there was a three-member delegation of about 700 members of the Unitedeni trade union based in Belchatów, with whom the Inicjatywa Pracownicza has been cooperating for several months. expressed their will to cooperate more closely with the Initiative. The draft confederation's statute will be presented at the next congress, which will probably take place in March 2019.

The congress also listened to the extensive report of the National Commission on the activities of the association in the last year. During this time, min. many new committees have been registered. In addition, the following were discussed: the financial status of the union (they are satisfactory), international cooperation of the union, the operation of the legal group, discussed the functioning of environmental commissions and their role in the structure of the Workers' Initiative. It was deemed necessary to immediately revive the activities of both IP training and information training, in particular to intensify the issuance of the IP Bulletin as well as to make technical changes to the website. A similar reactivation is to take place in the case of the training working group, which is expected to resume work this year. On international issues, it was decided to present the next Congress of Delegates and Delegates with the question of joining the International Union Network of Solidarity and Combat, in which the IP has so far only participated on the rights of an observer. Past experience in cooperation within this Network was considered as important as the project of reactivation of an international organization associating anarchosyndicalist trade unions (we decided to join it at the congress of delegates and delegates in 2017).

Discussions started at the Workers' Meeting will be the starting point for the preparation of materials that will be published in subsequent issues of the bulletin, and the culmination of these discussions will be next year's National Congress of Delegates and Delegates.

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