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(en) Russia, siberian airlines against unions (it)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 9 Oct 2003 15:53:53 +0200 (CEST)

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> From: "Harry Mulder" <kolokol_be@yahoo.co.uk> KOLOKOL NEWSLETTER October 2003
This company doesn't like trade-unions. In Novosibirsk, where it is based,
the management closed the office of the trade-union of pilots, seized its
computers and dismissed the chairman. In protest members of the trade-union
went on a hunger strike and on the 5th of September pickets were staged at
offices of the company in various Russian cities.
In Omsk members and friends of the Sibirskaya Konfederactsiya Truda held a
picket of an hour holding flags of the SKT and of the trade-union of air-traffic
controllers and several posters. When they wanted to use a megaphone a plain
clothes told them that the use of a megaphone was not permitted. So, they made
protest noise using strings of soft drink tins, against which Russia doesn't
have a law yet. The management ignored the picket but office workers
came out one by one to get a copy of the leaflet the picketers distributed:

The management of Siberia Airlines has started
harassing the independent trade-union of pilots
because they take the company to court in case of
serious problems and refuse to join the trade-union
supported by the company. The management have sealed
the office of the trade-union and seized its office
equipment with the documentation of the trade-union,
the trade-union bookkeeper and lawyer are no longer
let into the company premises, the chairman of the
trade-union, a second pilot, was at first no longer
scheduled and then dismissed for absence, on a day
when he was doing trade-union work of which he had
advised the management two weeks in advance as is
stipulated in the collective labour agreement.
At a picket at the head office on 28th August a
speaker for the company said the trade-union office
had been closed to give the trade-union better spaces
and the office equipment seized to give the
trade-union better equipment.
Meanwhile the management puts pressure on more members
of the trade-union. The dismissed chairman has taken
his case to court and has started a hunger strike.
Protest actions took also place at other offices of
the company in Russia and Germany [the latter
organised by members of the German Freie Arbeiter
Union FAU].
(e-mail Sibirskaya Konfederatsia Truda, Omsk,

In my homeland The Netherlands and, perhaps, also in
other countries Christian opinion makers show often
concern when Christians, mainly of their own
denominations, are persecuted or experience
difficulties because of their religious practices or
beliefs. Where they have power, for instance the Roman
Catholics in Poland, their brothers and sisters in the
faith harass, if not plainly persecute people holding
views clashing with theirs or have them
harassed/persecuted by the authorities. A case in
point is that of the installation shown in an art
gallery in Gdansk for which the Roman Catholic
political party League of Polish Families demanded and
obtained punishment of the maker by a district judge.
The description of this case in the August issue of
this newsletter under the heading "Poland out!"
suffered some technical problems, so, I repeat it
somewhat modified and with additional material
received or found later showing the support the
artist, fortunately, enjoys and the genuine persecutor
mentality of the religious zealots.
I leave the kind of introduction I added in the August
issue out and only pass on the pieces of information
as I got or found them.

In a recent issue of the www.poprostu.pl newsletter I
read about the case of the maker of an installation
exhibited in an art gallery who sentenced to 6 months
of restricted liberty and 20 hours of "socially useful
work". The public prosecutor had asked for a fine of
2000 zlotys (500 euros). The installation consisted of
a film showing men doing exercises in a fitness room
and an iron cross with arms of equal length and a
picture of male genitals in the middle. No visitor had
complained but when the exhibition was over and the
installation had already been wrapped up for removal
people of the League of Polish Families asked to
unwrap the installation and subsequently lodged a
complaint with the public prosecutor for offence of
religious feelings. This happened not in some backward
countryside court but in Gdansk the birthplace of Lech
Walensa's Solidarity. The considerations of the judge:
"In Poland a cross is associated with the martyr's
death of Jesus Christ. A cross is a symbol of
suffering because Christ died on it. The installation
was called "Passion", a word associated with the
martyrdom of Jesus Christ. Precisely this cross was
insulted. In the centre of the cross, where usually
Christ is placed, was a male member.". And to justify
the heaviness of the punishment: "The defendant has
caused a scandal. She has become more known".
Nothing is said of the defence. I would have said in
the first place that nobody was forced to go into that
art gallery, the people of that League obviously
wanted to be offended obviously knowing what they were
going to see because the media had talked about it
when the exhibition was almost over. Then the arms of
usual Christian crucifixes are not of equal length.
The cross of the installation was rather a big "plus"
sign. And with the genitals in the centre of attention
the word "passion" clearly referred to the urge
associated with them, not to Jesus Christ's suffering.
I would also have lodged a counter complaint:
obviously considering genitals dirty things that
should be kept out of sight the people of the League
despised the work of their creator, God, and thus
committed blasphemy.
The story as reported by poprostu does not tell
whether the defendant lodged an appeal, but a
collaborator of poprostu from whom I obtained some of
the above information told me the verdict had not yet
become effective.

From poprostu newsletter 15.9.2003:
In the Sfinks club in Sopot a genital event was
organised on Sunday 31 August in connection with the
verdict against Dorota Niezalska.
A numerous audience listened to a paper on the history
of art illustrated with pictures of a naked Christ and
crucified women as well as of other genital-religious
works of art.
There were also papers for and against censorship and
a film of a masturbating man.
On the Monday and Tuesday a dubbed film was shown of
the reading of the verdict on the occasion of the
international performance festival in the art gallery
Modelarnia in the former shipyard of Gdansk. In the
film Dorota Niezalska slapped the judge in the face.
No media mentioned the event.

From poprostu newsletter 30.9.2003:
Members of the League of Polish Families in Slupsk
demand that the governor of the woyewodstwo check the
exhibition which Dorota Niezalska intends to hold in
November in the art gallery Baszta Czarownic which is
the property of the woyewodstwo.
The new work is to be about "limitation of artistic
In a letter to governor Jan Kozlowski, MP Rober Strak
and woyewodstwo councillor Leszak Grabarczyk demand
that measures be taken to check whether there will be
works for which Mrs Niezalska has been sentenced at
the exhibition or works that may offend religious or
national feelings.
"I've only just started work on that exhibition and MP
Strak wants already to be sure that I can guarantee
that it won't offend him", the artist said.

Daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw) 4-5.10.2003:

Santa Clara nuns against Niezalska
No exhibition of works of Dorota Niezalska in Slupsk
as a result of pressure by the local section of the
League of Polish Families.

"I don't want that pictures are taken of people
visiting the gallery, that they are called names or
harassed", says Wladyslaw Kazmierczak, director of the
art gallery Baszta Czarownic in Slupsk. "The methods
of the LPR are well known. I decided to cancel the
exhibition when I heard from Jerzy Barbarowicz of the
department of culture and sports that he had been
called by priests and nuns. I don't depend on the city
government but I understood that the emotions would
run high with unforeseeable outcomes."
Barbarowicz admits that he has received calls from
Santa Clara sisters saying that large numbers of upset
people came to their church who didn't want that
exhibition to take place.
"I'm upset", Mrs Niezalska comments. "This is
scandalous censorship. I had no intention to show
"Passion", which causes such emotions. I worked on
something entirely new concerning the limitation of
the freedom of speech."

The local section of the trade-union Solidarnosc in
south eastern Poland calls for a general boycott of
brands owned by Danone because of the decision of this
multinational to transfer the LU biscuits production
from Jaroslaw near Przemysl to Plonsk near Warsaw.
This would mean that all the 500 workers of LU
Jaroslaw would lose their jobs.
The company now forming LU Poland is a former State
company sold in 1994 to the English United Biscuits.
In February 2001 the French company LU belonging to
the Danone holding became owner of a majority package
of shares.
The reason given for the transfer is expected higher
(Data taken from poprostu bulletin 15.9.2003)

[In France the same thing happened last year with a LU
factory near Paris. Workers of the factory sought
outside support and obtained some. It seems that
matter is not finished yet but a member of the French
CNT-rue de Vignoles e-mailed me recently that
politically interested groups were manipulating the

Daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw) 27-28.9.2003:
For the 10th of October a new meeting has been agreed
upon between LU Poland and the trade-unionists of the
factory in Jaroslaw. Recently LU Polska agreed to the
creation of a workers' co-operative on the basis of
the liquidated factory. New elements in the
negotiations are that LU has started talks with three
investors, the permission for the new company to make
not only salted crackers and the possibility that six
production lines which would have been transferred to
Plonsk will stay in Jaroslaw.

On the 26th of September the poprostu electronic news
agency working from Wroclaw had been in existence for
three years. Over those three years they issued 160
news bulletins containing in all around 5000 pieces of
information that are now circulated among over 2000
Poprostu is very exceptional in the anarchist world.
Although the 5 collaborators are anarchists and
members of the Polish Anarchist Federation or close to
they have nothing of a church agency. They tell
stories from all kinds of circles. The latest issue
contained not more than one item about an event
concerning people who claimed to be anarchists.
The various indymedia initiatives are more of the
usual kind: only stories about anarchists, whereas
anarchism should mean broadmindedness and
openmindedness, have an eye for all kinds of people,
opinions and attitudes whether you agree with them or
It's true, poprostu might not tell if the pope or an
average parish priest did something really good or
suffered something really bad. But that would be
bringing water to the ocean.


"Kolokol Publications" circulates newsletters on
Bangladesh, Chechnya, Eastern Europe and Russia
(Kolokol Newsletter), Iraq, Israel/Palestine (Canaan
Newsletter), the U.S. (American Voices), religious
anarchism and, exceptionally, plain anarchism. To
receive these newsletters, to ask to stop sending
them, to comment on them or to offer materials please
write to kolokol_be@yahoo.co.uk

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