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(en) Poland, ozzip: 10th anniversary of the death of Marcel Szary - B. Ziemowska [machine translation]

Date Sat, 4 Apr 2020 11:15:34 +0300

On March 30, 2010, in the hospital at Szkolna Street in Poznan, after a long illness, Marcel Gray died - founder of the Workers' Initiative and its chairman at Cegielski's plant. It was a great loss for the Polish trade union and employee movement. ---- Marcel Gray was an outstanding trade union and employee activist. During the Polish People's Republic, he belonged to the underground "Solidarity", which he joined as a student of a vocational school. After 1989, disagreeing with her conciliatory policy, he left Solidarity, forming Solidarnosc'80 in HCP, and then in June 2004 became one of the organizers of the Employee Initiative committee. ---- He was a multiple representative of the crew on the management of H. Cegielski. We will remember Marcel Szare as an uncompromising activist who has always preferred the interests of employees and union members over his own. He was deeply convinced that employees were fighting for their dignity in the first place. In 2007, the HCP crew repeatedly stopped work, demanding higher wages. In April, speaking to Cegielski's striking employees, Marcel argued that the payroll proposals of the HCP Board should be rejected as definitely insufficient: "Now it is not a fight for wages, it is not a fight for better working conditions, it is a fight for our dignity. They were surprised that workers demanded more than oil for the machine. "

Marcel Gray was often harassed for his activities. In 2009, he was sentenced by a fine to the Poznan District Court for organizing a strike in HCP in 2008. These protests were a great success for the crew, which eventually managed to win a 30% salary increase.

Marcel published his columns in the trade union Initiative of Workers' Initiative describing the terms and conditions of employment, as well as divisions and conflicts within HCP, with sarcasm and humor in their own right.

In 2007, Marcel Gray developed leukemia. While fighting the disease, he continued his trade union activity. In December 2009, doctors said the disease had receded. Unfortunately for a short time. At the end of February 2010 he was back in the hospital. His health began to deteriorate. In the last days of his life he was still involved in the defense of hospital employees. Poznan media reported that before his death he had already sent a complaint about the working conditions of nurses. Dying at the age of 45, Marcel Gray left his wife Beata and orphaned his 8-year-old son.

On April 6, over 500 people attended the funeral ceremony of Marcel Szary in Poznan's Milostów. Delegations of the Employee Initiative from all over the country came, as well as representatives of other trade union organizations, including Miners from August 1980 with its chairman B. Zietek at the helm. Flower tombs were laid on the grave by representatives of various environments, including the 8th Day Theater, the Anarchist Federation, the HCP board, the Poznan media, the parish to which Marcel belonged, and above all the Cegielski crew and other workplaces.

Condolences for the family and the Employee Initiative came from all over the world, including from the Swedish trade union SAC, the Spanish CGT, the French CNT, the British IWW, the editors of "Inprecore" and activists of the French NPA, from Czech and Slovak anarchists, Poles working in Ireland and Iceland. Obituaries and numerous articles mentioning Marcel Szary's trade union activity appeared in the local press. Miners from August '80 in their condolence note wrote, among others: "We will remember Marcel Szare as a steadfast activist fighting for the rights and interests of employees. He was not afraid to fight in a just cause regardless of political and political circumstances. He ignored the risk and threat. He always acted in accordance with his beliefs about the need to organize employees and to fight the unfair exploitation system. "

The writer and journalist Wlodzimierz Nowak, after Szary's death, wrote in the daily newspapers that he did not manage to publish a book about him: it is replaced by temporary workers, employees, dispersed mass performing various works. He believed in this bond that connects people working together physically in the factory, their strength and in this community, which can also be seen after work, in workers' districts. "

Jaroslaw Urbanski, then the secretary of the Workers' Initiative, gave a short goodbye over the grave. that the union will continue to fight, and the example of Marcel Szary will remain his inspiration for further actions. Above the audience there was a black banner with the inscription: "For Marcel: Not a minute of silence, just a lifetime in battle"!

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