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(en) Poland, zsp: Impel: Is it possible to clean up the exploitation in the hospital? The wardens from Jaworzno want to do this [machine translation]

Date Wed, 15 Sep 2021 10:54:09 +0300

The Coronavirus pandemic has opened the eyes of many people to how very little valued certain professions are of great social importance. Over the years, some healthcare professions have been systematically underestimated and workers have suffered the consequences. Of all the hospital workers, it was the wardens whose work was absolutely essential to the functioning of the hospital who were in the worst situation. Most of these female employees were transferred to outsourcing companies known for circumventing labor law and violating employee rights. Despite the extremely uncertain conditions in which they find themselves, sometimes the janitors stand up for their rights. Such an initiative was launched in Jaworzno.

In SP ZOZ at the Multispecialist Hospital in Jaworzno, Impel Cleaning sp. Z oo has won a contract for cleaning services. There is a manager from this company on site and she employs orderlies, although many of them do not work for Impel, because this company, in turn, outsources the formalities of employment to other companies "bushes". Many attendants receive work orders from several different companies, which allows the employer to avoid paying overtime rates and to hire people with disability groups overtime, which is not permitted by law. Some employees work under employment contracts, others have mandate contracts, although they perform the same work as full-time employees.

One of the companies that employs clerks is called Pureza and is a company within the Impel capital group. Other companies have deals with Impel, which means that women do not receive the correct payments for overtime worked. Either they get nothing, or the hours are billed at normal rates by other companies. The work records are not kept correctly by the manager, because the employees themselves fill in the hours on the card, which does not contain information from the employer. They write on the "Impel" card, regardless of who is their "employer" formally, and the other party never signs anything. And although they write "N" for night shifts, they don't get paid at night shift rates.

Representatives of all companies that allegedly "employ" orderlies will never appear in the hospital. Contracts bearing the names of different companies "bushes" are handed over by the same manager.

There are many companies that formally employ women, although the hospital also has clerks employed directly by the hospital. There are attendants in gynecology departments and in the operating theater who have contracts with the hospital, so the terms of employment in the hospital are not equal for everyone. While they essentially do the same job, some employees have normal hospital employment conditions, and the rest of the employees have contracts signed by various utility companies, including junk contracts.

Of course, people working on garbage can lose a lot. They are not necessarily informed about their rights to voluntary sickness contributions, and they do not receive paid holidays. But also some of the people who work on contracts say that their holidays were simply stolen. Without any agreement between the parties, last year employers reduced the number of their vacation days by paying equivalents. Nobody asked the attendants if they wanted to use their vacation days - there was no discussion about it and the vacation days were gone. Even more so, after hard work with overtime during COVID, some employees reacted very badly to taking their vacation days.

Another problem with COVID is the fact that although they were all supposed to receive the so-called COVID allowance (i.e. a one-time benefit for work in an epidemological threat), only some female employees actually received the allowance. Some of the attendants have no information as to why they did not receive anything, and some found out that they would not get anything.

Another benefit that was not paid without any explanation is the subsidy for people with a disability group. Previously, all eligible persons received an allowance of PLN 78, but since the contract was taken over by Impel, these allowances have disappeared. Unfortunately, this is a common problem in such companies, as employers receive a grant from PFRON, but keep it in their own pocket. Employees have the right to rehabilitation, but this right is also violated.

The demands of the officials from the Initiative Group in Jaworzno are as follows:

Employment contracts for everyone with direct employment by the hospital
No more fictitious orders by various "bushes" companies
Payment of due wages for all night shifts and overtime
Payment of the COViD supplement
Payment of a subsidy for female employees with a disability group, granting the right to rehabilitation
Stop reducing the leave dimension without the employee's consent
Signing correct employment contracts and keeping correct records of working time by a real employer

The Union of Syndicalists of Poland expresses its full support for all the demands of the orderly and condemns the practices in the health service that allow for the exploitation and robbing of hard-earned money from female workers.

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