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(en) ozzip.pl: You can't call people away from monkeys and downs [machine translation]

Date Tue, 21 Sep 2021 10:09:22 +0300

The company Jeremias Sp. z o. o. from Gniezno is, as it writes about itself, "a leading manufacturer of chimney systems in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors". It is a branch of a larger capital group based in Germany. At the same time, it is one of the largest employers on the Gniezno labor market. It employs a total of about 600 people, including 400 in production. Half are women. About 190 employees are people of Ukrainian origin employed through a temporary employment agency. ---- In February this year. In Jeremias, a commission of the Polish Workers' Initiative Trade Union was established. They demand a 10% increase, treating employees with respect, clear rules of taking over to work in Jeremias after their employment in the agency, agreeing on a vacation schedule and taking into account the needs of the crew, better health and safety conditions - in particular, in terms of exceeding temperature standards, and opposing forced labor people to work overtime.

We talk to two employees about the union's activities

Why am I not able to persuade you to even reveal your names?

Employee: The vengefulness of the management is commonly known to every employee who has worked here for even a quarter. Many people still feel fear when they see some managers. Therefore, until the company is clearly cut off from the past, everyone in the relationship will prefer to remain undisclosed.

Okay, let's start with the easier topics. How can you find employment in your company and is it worth it?

Employee: The vast majority of employees are initially employed by temporary employment agencies. There are several of them, including smaller ones, of local range. Before such a person is hired by Jeremias, he works an average of 5 to 10 months. Although it is very individual. I know a girl who worked for an agency for 18 months and then her contract was not renewed.

Employee: This method of gaining an advantage over the employee

Employee: Exactly, I personally am unfavorable towards agencies. You can enter a 3 month trial period and then decide. This is enough time to observe and form an opinion about a given person, whether he will work for a given position or not. I don't know what the problem is that you don't. We want employees to move to Jeremias after 6 months at the latest. Unfortunately, today it is very protracted, often over a year (constant promises and constant excuses). Not only that, there are problems with settlements between employees and agencies. Some people leave Jeremias because they cannot get along with their agencies on the same level as the settlement of earnings. When they ask, they want to specify the rules, then they hear: "You are problematic".

What about earnings in Jeremias? As I heard earlier that an agency worker in your company earns about PLN 3,200 gross, this information, to put it mildly, did not knock me down.

Employee: Let's start with the fact that Jeremias still says that we earn the most with them. We earn well if we go to work all month, take overtime, work on Saturdays and Sundays. Then I can say, "I've had a good paycheck." Only it loses my health, my private life, and my family. This is usually tens of overtime hours per month.

Employee: It's all based on non-stop overtime. In principle, Ukraine works around the clock... It happened regularly that we were forced to work overtime. The manager would run into the department and shout, "Is this a fucking ... kindergarten?!" You had to sign up for overtime and come in two hours before the shift, or leave two hours after the shift. Of course, there is also an "obligatory" Saturday with overtime. People had problems getting communion time off. People asked: "Why do you have to go to this communion, this is your close family?"

Employee: As soon as the trade union was formed, he suddenly took it off. Working time regulations had started to be very important in the company, and the production manager was spreading a rumor in production that Sundays were not the union's fault. Managers can still refuse the leave that an employee needs to see a doctor or run errands. In general, the whole manager-employee relationship is a school from 100 years ago - DO AND DO NOT DISCUSS. And it is often much worse, because some of the management, who for years used the epithets about employees and directly to them: downy, morons, rubbish ... hurt hundreds of women and men, still works and continues to pretend that nothing happened.

From what I hear, the way the management communicates with the crew leaves much to be desired.

Employee: Exactly. This has clearly worsened with the advent of the pandemic. We still heard that we were to be happy, that there was work. At the same time, they were employed in March last year. new production director. The way of communicating and relating to people changed then. The language of the management was reprehensible to both men and women, and the director completely downplayed this fact and pretended that he did not know anything.

And while disrespect for an employee at Jeremias has long been known in the area, the previous director was clearly improving the situation, this issue was important to him. The present, unfortunately with his ignorance, started to awaken the demons of the past, which are better not to be mentioned even in this interview.

Employee: The managers had specific girls. ... some allusions with obvious subtext, often vulgar, about their dress. Some of them immediately indicated that they did not like it. Others hid, avoided contact, even eye contact. But there were also women who said, "What shall I do? This is the manager after all. "

There are many true stories about girls who have experienced abusive treatment at the facility. Almost all of us may have noticed inappropriate behavior or heard unrefined jokes directed at our colleagues working next to us ... it would be good if the Management Board had the courage to account for these stories.

You also talked about the ubiquitous cameras, is there a lot of control over employees and employees?

Employee: We have time counted, even when we are in the toilet. Sometimes a person was called to the office just because they thought he had spent too much time in the toilet. We are constantly reminded that the camera is aimed at the toilet and not to make any delays there, not to walk too often, not to do some "trips", etc.

Employee: There was pressure on mobbing everywhere. The director constantly reminded managers that the cameras were being viewed by "someone" in the office. Situations in which someone "from above" calls the manager to run to the end of the hall, because the employee is standing there, were commonplace, fortunately, since the union was established, it has been on a smaller scale.

The whole machine with cameras overhead, many shift managers was supposed to make a person feel constantly watched, punished without a real reason (because he was discussing), insulted, ridiculed - it has led to the fact that many employees in the hall simply feel fear at the sight of the management.

In conclusion... there were several reasons that led people to join IP. Change of director, along with deterioration of methods of communicating with people and extremely bad attitude towards them. Finally, trying to impose a vacation schedule without looking at people's opinions and their needs in this regard.

Employee: There came a moment in my life that I started to plan my life without Jeremias, I wanted to complete my education and get away from what was happening. Because I have respect for myself. Many people think the same. It turns out that 150 people who signed up for the Employee Initiative also respect each other. People stopped being afraid because they saw an opportunity ... a chance to bring our company to such an order that it would be possible to earn money - because we have to live, we need it - but not at the expense of degradation. There was hope and maybe we will stay in Jeremias, we will be able to function and live with dignity.

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