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(en) Poland, Poznan, ozzip: Mockery of exploitation [machine translation]

Date Sun, 13 Jun 2021 09:56:07 +0300

Portierki in Poznan are demanding 235 thousand. PLN overdue for three years of remuneration. The Board of Communal Resources for Housing (ZKZL), which administered the buildings that guarded, called for payment. ZKZL called the latest protest in this case - in a statement published by the local Gazeta Wyborcza - "caricatured". Our reply, sent to the editorial office, was never published. We place it below. ---- On Thursday, May 20, 2021, the Polish Workers' Initiative Trade Union organized a protest at the headquarters of the Z KZL , one of the demands of which was the payment of outstanding wages to doormen and doormen employed in buildings administered by the municipal company[read more]. In a statement handed over to representatives of OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza and published in Gazeta Wyborcza, the spokesman of the ZKZL called the workers' protest at the company's headquarters " caricatured " and " exposes the trade union position itself to mockery . "

Admittedly, after three years of fighting for unpaid remuneration for work done for the HCM, the victims have already got used to being ignored by various public institutions, but the information that the HCMR sees their claims as a mocking caricature is a novelty.

While the spokesman for ZKZL is in the mood to mock us, we are not amused. The more so because two of the injured people died awaiting their outstanding remuneration. Below, we would like to briefly refer to the arguments put forward by the spokesperson for ZKZL in this statement.

A business model designed to be exploited

In 2017 and 2018, ZKZL signed 11 contracts with the same company (contractor selected in a public tender) for the physical protection of real estate located at ul. Ratajczaka 44, Kórnicka 24, Kasprzaka 16, Grunwaldzka 22, Roboczej 4 and Mickiewicza 31. The company offered for its services a price several dozen percent lower than other entities participating in the tender. It is worth emphasizing here that the offered price was below the break-even point and was inconsistent with any rational economic calculation: it assumed that the contractor would have to perform his services for the HCM not only for free, but at a loss of several thousand zlotys. In turn, the subcontractor (temporary employment agency formally employing employees) would have to carry out the order for the contractor with a loss of several thousand zlotys.

The whole procedure was possible only because the contractor's "business model" assumed a real profit by systematically defrauding employees on hourly wages, bonuses for night work and overtime.

These grossly low prices offered by the contractor should arouse the distrust of ZKZL. If the city of Poznan announced a tender for the purchase of a new tram, which costs PLN 5,000,000, and the tender was won by a company offering a new tram for PLN 1,000,000, a red lamp should light up to the organizers of the tender. It should, but it did not light up, because ZKZL simply paid off when it could pay a significantly lower price for almost 18 months for the "security" service of facilities managed by the city. The difference between what ZKZL paid the contractor and what he should have paid if the employees were employed under employment contracts (as provided for in the terms of the tender), constituted pure profit for ZKZL, which allowed the company's management board to turn a blind eye to the fact that from the economic point of view these contracts did not make any sense to the company, which won the tender. The city bought a cheaper tram, but unfortunately it turned out that it got derailed after a few days of use.

CMO IB has very detailed calculations confirming the above statements. These documents have already been submitted to the Poznan Stare Miasto District Prosecutor's Office, which is conducting two preparatory proceedings, incl. on persistent and malicious violations of labor rights and falsification of documents. In addition, the union will submit the above calculations to the Regional Audit Chamber in Poznan and the President of the Public Procurement Office together with a request to initiate an ad hoc inspection of physical protection contracts for the above-mentioned real estate concluded by ZKZL in 2017 and 2018. ZKZL transferred several hundred thousand zlotys to a contractor company that has behind a long history of non-payment of wages to employees. The circumstances of concluding these agreements require careful checking by appointed institutions.

What did the ZKZL not take care of?

The statements of the ZKZL spokesman " on absolute compliance with the Public Procurement Law"they are completely groundless and unbelievable. The provisions of the aforementioned act give the contracting authority a number of rights that allow him to verify whether employees are employed on the basis of employment contracts (e.g. requesting copies of concluded employment contracts or conducting an inspection). The trade union applied to the ZKZL with a request under the procedure of access to public information to indicate the actions taken by the company in order to verify whether the employees were actually employed in accordance with the provisions of the labor law. In response, ZKZL admitted that for several months of cooperation with the contractor, he had not taken any steps in this direction. Several months! And it was enough to search the Internet for a few minutes and verify the information in the electronic National Court Register to find out, that people related to the contractor cheated (under different names) a few years earlier, among others porters in Szczecin and security staff employed at the District Court in Bartoszyce. The fact that an organized crime group operates under the aegis of a contractor company, with a structure, internal hierarchy and a defined division of tasks is evidenced, for example, by the fact that its activities were already discussed in the Sejm in 2015 (initiated by an interpellation of MP Iwona Ewa Arent" To the Minister of the Interior on massive fraud of security agencies").

We are of the opinion that ZKZL, through its omission and failure to check publicly available information, led to a situation in which for over a year the rights of employees employed on real estate managed by the company were grossly violated.

Settlement or court

The spokesman for ZKZL advises the injured employees to refer their claims to the labor court. Wise advice, but a bit late as employees have already done so and have won all 27 cases closed so far (more pending). Unfortunately, court bailiffs have a problem with the enforcement of the awarded amounts - it turns out that the contractor of the ZKZL cooperated with companies whose presidents were citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Vietnam and no one had ever seen them. They also do not respond to police calls for questioning. They fell into the ground. Interestingly, during employment by the contractor, employees received documents signed by the alleged presidents - you do not need an expert graphologist to say that these signatures were significantly different from the specimen signatures contained in the registration files of these companies.

The spokesman for ZKZL also claims that he has no legal title to pay the outstanding wages to the injured employees. We agree on this point. The final pre-trial payment notices submitted on May 20 to the ZKZL administration office are the first step to obtaining the basis for the payment of wages. It is up to the management board of ZKZL whether these titles will be subsequent court judgments or a settlement with employees, which would finally end this humiliating spectacle lasting over 3 years.

Marta Rozmyslowicz

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