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Polish Wildcat Strike In Dublin: Workers Refuse To Break Their Backs For Their Tesco Bosses

category dublin | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Friday July 29, 2005 12:02author by Editorial Group Report this post to the editors

"Today we strike!"

After the scandals with GAMA and Irish Ferries, Tesco are the latest employers to have been reported to be exploiting foreign workers in Ireland. On Thursday afternoon, temporary agency workers from Poland organising as "Committee of Defence of Temp Workers in Tesco" staged a picket outside their workplace in Greenhills while other workers inside temporarily downed tools in a solidarity strike.

Their main grievance is that they are continually being asked to meet higher productivity levels. The levels currently being demanded by management present a danger to the health of the workers. The start of these demands on the workforce came soon after the entry of Poland into the EU and more Polish workers were hired by Tesco through temping agencies. Tesco is taking unfair advantage of workers coming from Poland who are unaware of their rights as employees and who are at first grateful to get a job which pays more than they would get at home.

As the workers are temporary, they can be just let go if they fail to meet these ever-increasing targets. Due to the new targets being unsustainable, there has been much dissatisfaction among the workforce. Two Polish workers who were vocally expressing this dissent found themselves fired for their efforts. Along with the demand that productivity targets be reduced to a manageable level, the workers are demanding that the two employees who were laid off have their jobs reinstated and that agency temps who work for longer than 3 months should get a permanent contract from Tesco with all the associated benefits.

Audio Interviews With Protesters at Greenhills, Tesco Distribution Centre
Related Story On Indymedia Polska

Related Indymedia Ireland Articles:
Some Information On Companies Exploiting Workers In Ireland
Stand Up For Your Rights Campaign
Joe Higgins' Challenge to Irish Trade Unions: Protect Migrant Workers

Two Polish workers who literally refused to break their backs for the boss in Tesco distribution have been fired. "Usually we pick 750 (boxes), but after three months of the normal rate our manager wants more, more, more . . . it's not possible picking 900. You must look after your back, and health and safety processes. If you pick 1,000 you'll break your back, you can not work like that." Work at first there seemed okay according to some of the Irish, but then Poland joined the EU and the company started to up the demands placed on workers in the centre as it started to hire Poles through a temp agency Grafton Recruitment.

The next time you're walking down Grafton Street keep an eye peeled for their poster. A young worker vaults over a pole - "Just how flexible do you want to be?" the poster asks - saying more about the insecurity of the modern work situation than any sociologist. "We have the interview every month and they say to us to pick up to 900 and a 1000. My manager told me I must pick up 130 cases an hour. It's ridiculous. The norm is 100. Anyway, there is no pick rate (anywhere else) in the whole country. After that he took in another guy and told him you must pick 140. Then another guy and he said to him 1100 a day. They say more, more more . . . you can not do that!" One of the fired blokes went into work one day wearing a T-shirt with the slogan 'no more than 900' on the front. Maybe this sparked the retribution from management?

The eight or so Polish workers standing in the rain start to look cheerful after a phone call. The fifty or so other workers in there have downed tools in solidarity with them. Every once in a while one of the drenched picketeers shouts across to security - "Today we strike!"

"In Tesco people were treated very badly. Used very much not as people but as a product. The target of work was increased all the time and there was no more pay for it, even when people worked harder than previously. Some of them do not agree with this situation and they will fight for the rights which they have." Later they tell me SIPTU organised a meeting on the shop floor. A phonecall from the union rep. advises them that their protest is illegal.

Eventually a group of three men, two in yellow bibs, emerges from the centre. Judging from the suit trousers and shoes peeking up at me from beneath the waterproofs, I assumed they were management. I eavesdrop. "This is an illegal protest lads, you have to follow the proper channels, there was work there for you but you didn't want it, you'll have your day in the labour court." Yeah - I'm sure they will, but as this bluffer for management that passes as a trade unionist heads back into the warmth the only thing I can think is that these two chaps will probably have gone through two more shit jobs by the time the labour court sides with the employer.

News of todays action bounced around a Polish anarchist list, made its way to Italy and eventually we in Dublin heard. In a bizarre internationalisation of struggle the media in Poland spent the day chasing after several solidarity demos there - "so our friends that were sacked from Tesco let them know via email and telephone and people from Squats in Warsaw and elsewhere protested as a solidarity act. There's a lot of people, and there is a lot of media. What's more the security in Tesco (in Poland) let people stay on the parking lot there. So I think to sum up, it will be in the press and media what is going down in Tesco across the World." Networks of punks, squatters and anarchists organised around the Rozbrat squat had picketed two Tescos in two Polish cities.

Walking up to this protest one thing was clear the summer has tucked its tails between its legs and hightailed, its wet and the down pour is miserable. There's maybe eight people in the distance, and there's no point trying to roll a smoke. one is holding up a soaked card board placard with the following demands - "1. Bukat and Sawicki must come back to work for Tesco distribution. 2. Contracts for agency staff after 3 month work for Tesco. 3. The 1,000 cases norm per day must be cancelled"

When they started working in Tesco, they were grateful for the 9.52 per hour, but after a while watching the Tesco system in operation they were forced to critically evaluate their role there. They find that Tesco will not give out contracts because it can get away with using and abusing agency workers. Then there are the agencies. They make money from their work, wringing them dry. In the middle, the workers usually foreigners with language difficulties, unaware of their rights and starved of work, take whatever is going.

Original Newswire Report submitted by Joe WSM

Following on from the GAMA and Irish Ferry scandals it appears TESCO's are the latest company to be caught out exploiting migrant workers. A picket took place at their Distribution depot on Greenhills Road in Dublin today.

We first became aware of the issue late yesterday after receiving an email from Poland via someone in Italy (globalisation cuts both ways). The text of this follows (edited to remove full names).

----

We received a statement by a Committee of Defence of Temp Workers in Tesco in Dublin organized by Polish temp workers. They organized after two temp workers, Z. B. and R. S. were laid off from Tesco Distribution on Greenhills Road in Dublin. They were fired for protesting against continuous rising of daily norms and criticizing the recruitment system (leasing employees from temp agencies Grafton and Jobs).

The Committee of Defence of Temp Workers in Tesco demands:

1. Cancel the layoff for the fired workers
2. Making a rule that a temp worker who worked longer than 3 months gets a permanent contract with all benefits
3. Tesco must get rid of the daily norm of 1000 boxes.

The Committee will organize a protest at the gate of the wholesale department on July 28th (this thursday) at 13:30 Dublin time. Demands will be passed to management during the picket. If the demands are ignored, the Committee will call for a strike at Tesco Distribution and a blockade of the wholesale department.

---

People who attended the picket to show solidarity reported that a short strike had taken place in the depot that morning and that around a dozen workers were picketing the gate over lunch. The workers who were Polish reported that protests are also taking place in Poland today in solidarity with them.

They had made two banners for the picket one of which showed cartoon of a worker being torn apart between TESCOs and the temp agency.

It is estimated that there are over 50,000 Polish workers in Ireland.

author by Duinepublication date Thu Jul 28, 2005 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nuair a bhí mé ag obair san Ollainn cúpla bliain ó shin, bhí mé ag obair do cuideachta sraith ollmhargaí. Is amhlaidh díreach a bhí na coinníollacha oibre againn, lucht páirt aimseartha.
Dúshaothrú atá ann; níl sé faoi choinne inimiriceoirí amháin.

author by jackpublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

whereabouts is greenhills?

author by Joepublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tallaght

mpa.jpg

author by james r via radio.indymedia via eeeekkkpublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 15:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

Related Link: http://radio.indymedia.org/news/2005/07/6198.php
author by Joepublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Go to the top of the article - click on the 'printable version' . Print a couple out and stick them up near your local Tesco - post on this thread that you have done so which will get back to the workers concerned.

I'll do the Stoneybatter Tescos - any other takers?

author by dozzeypublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 19:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Management want higher productivity.... my god what a notion.... higher productivity = more money = more business =more jobs = more money... what demons what heretics what deviants these evil people are.... imagine requesting employees to work harder .... the world has gone daft.... step one = buy underpants... step three = profit...jumping jesus.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What use are SIPTU? It seems like they're too slack to monitor occupational health and safety and too chicken to take action when there's a danger of people getting hurt.

And when there's an obvious pattern of employers undercutting unionised employees using vulnerable foreign workers you'd think they'd have the cop on to take action.

(As for Dozzey's simplistic and smug comment above there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that these workers are going to see any more money in exchange for doing more work.)

Anyway, Solidarity to the Poles, thanks for having the gumption to do something about this, also thanks to the WSM for bringing this up.

author by Michael Cainepublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 20:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

David Begg is a board member of the Central Bank!

No-a-lo-a-people-know-dat!

Conflict of interests anyone?

How have 100% mortgages been approved?

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why am I surprised!!!

I live in Dublin 4 and last Friday I called into the local TESCO supermarket. For some unknown reason, I had a feeling of a 'poverty of spirit about the place', a lack of incentivising staff, an inadequate policy to keep the shelves stocked with fresh produce i.e. except for the alcohol section and certain areas needed to be swept.

I lived in England in the 1980's so I am aware of just how capable Tesco are to run a 'tight deck'. I also recall in England when you would see a slackening in a supermark far et chain, there could often be a Merger not too far around the corner and in most cases, yes, there were take-overs. This is about competition and regulation.

What is happening here in Ireland with the Office of Consumer Trading. The shoddiness that is permitted in some stores indicates a lack of respect to the customer, to the staff, to the management, to the shareholders - the chain of command.

I think I heard Ben Dunne recently make a comment about a certain non Irish company not making annual returns in Ireland and that this concerned him. It concerns me. I want access to profitability statements and I want to know there is no abuse of foreign labour or any labour. This is Ireland. We are members of Transparency International and we hold Corporate Governance courses. We want companies to follow social and ethical guidelines.

Where is the humanity component. We have had the GAMA farce but Justice prevailed, thanks to people like Joe Higgins. Let us recall the shame that befell the Department of Enterprise and their negotiations in Turkey for payment of Turkish workers in Ireland!!!!

Now we look at the Ferry situation. Well done to these young foreign people who find it in their hearts to say No to abuse of labour..

Zimbabwe, a country in the news these days. I wonder do people realise that countries like Zimbabwe are the main suppliers to companies like TESCO. At a sociology lecture in Trinity, a video was shown and it triggered many thoughts of my days there and a lack of regard for people and I include myself in this.

It is a few years ago but the video comes to mind. It was about a company Tesco and the supply of Mange Tout. Why I recall it so well is that it revolved around the corporate management style in London and their visits to Zimbabwe to inspect the workers. The workers were those you see so often in shots of Africa; those picking fruit/vegetables. There are mothers with babies on their backs and the days are long, the pay poor and controlled.

Awareness is a strong word. Recently Sir Bob Geldof and so many others started the campaign to Make Poverty History. It is time for people on an individual basis to take on board the responsibility for Ethical purchases.

What an unfriendly society we have these days, surely the time has come for a more social and ethical mindframe.

Think about foreigners not being paid or trained and motivated in their work; then ask where they live and how many people may share a room.

We look to Peace and Justice......Jim Larkin, James Connolly fought for the Rights of People against Capitalists. Let us not renegue on their principles.

Quotation
Checks and Balances
Muhammad Yumos contemporary Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank

'It's not people who aren't credit-worthy
It's banks that aren't people worthy'



UCD run a course on Corporate Governance in Ireland. I would suggest the web site.

author by Damien Moranpublication date Fri Jul 29, 2005 22:07author email dublincatholicworker at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone 087 9638398Report this post to the editors

There are two masses each Sunday at the Capuchin church on Halston st. (just opposite Green st. courthouse). I will put up a succint version on the noticeboard to alert other Poles of this situation.

These masses are highly attended so would be good to have others alerted to what they can expect when employed by Tesco.

Is there a contact number/e-mail address for those who want to show solidarity to the strikers?

There is also a Irish-Polish society based at 52 Fitzwilliam Square. They have an open house each Saturday from 2-6pm. Alot of Poles gather there each week to look for work, accomodation, and to build contacts amongst their own community.

The Hub on Eustace st. has a regular Polish night every Tuesday from what I remember.

Go to http://www.tesco.ie/ and check out where your local TESCO is exactly.

There are TESCO stores in the following areas of Dublin:


Artaine - Artaine Castle, Kilmore Road, D5
Phone: 1890928503

Baggot Street Lower -15 Lower Baggot Street, D2
Phone: 1890928474

Baggot Street Upper - 30 Upper Baggot Street,D2
Phone: 1890928462

Balbriggan - Balbriggan Shopping Centre
Phone: 1890928510

Ballybrack - Upr Ballyfermot Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10
Phone: 1890928469

Ballyfermot - Upr Ballyfermot Road, Ballyfermot, D10
Phone: 1890928442

Ballymun - 7 Towers Centre, Ballymun, Dublin 11
Phone: 1890928498

Blanchardstown - Roselawn View, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Phone: 1890928507

Bloomfields - Lower Georges Street, Dun Laoire, Co Dublin
Phone: 1890928466

Clarehall - Clarehall Shopping Centre, Malahide Road, Dublin 17
Phone: 1890928477


Clarehall PFS - Clairehall Shopping Centre, Malahide Rd, Dublin 17
Phone: 1890928480

Clondalkin - Booth Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Phone: 1890928440

Crumlin - Crumlin Shopping Centre, Crumlin, Dublin 12
Phone: 1890928433

Drumcondra - 22 Upr Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9
Phone: 1890928506

Dun Laoghaire - Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Phone: 1890928473

Dundrum - Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Phone: 1890928476

Finglas Clearwater - Finglas Road, , Dublin 11
Phone: 1890928511

Finglas Clearwater PFS - Finglas Road, Dublin 11
Phone: 1890928511

Jervis Centre - Jervis st. Dublin 1, Dublin
Phone: 1890928472

Kilbarrack - Kilbarrack Shopping Centre, Grange Park, Dublin 5
Phone: 1890928501

Lucan - Hillcrest Estate, Lucan, Co Dublin
Phone: 1890928434

Merrion - Merrion Centre, Merrion Road, Dublin 4
Phone: 1890928471

Nutgrove - Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14
Phone: 1890928468

Phibsboro - Phibsboro Shopping Centre, Phibsboro, Dublin 7
Phone: 1890928499

Prussia Street - Park Shopping Centre, Prussia Street, Dublin 7
Phone: 1890928509

Rathfarnham - Rathfarnham Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14
Phone: 1890928464

Rathmines - Upper Rathmines Road, , Dublin 6
Phone: 1890928475

Dundrum Town Centre - Dundrum Town Centre, Dundrum, Co.Dublin
Phone: 1890928479

Sandymount - 80 Sandymount Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4
Phone: 1890928465

Santry - Omni Park, Santry, Dublin 9
Phone: 1890928504

Stillorgan - Stillorgan Shopping Centre, , Co Dublin
Phone: 1890928470

Swords Express - Forest Road, Swords, Co Dublin
Phone: 1890928508

Tallaght - The Square Shopping Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Phone: 1890928436

Related Link: http://www.geocities.com/dublincatholicworker
author by James Rpublication date Sun Jul 31, 2005 18:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its Time To Take Strike Action.

We found our work in Tesco Distribution through a temp agency. Then we were happy to finally have work at €9.52. But now after a few months observing conditions in Tesco it's time for deep critical reflection.

Conclusion One: We Are Needed.

The fact that we work for Tesco every day, some of us for over a year, and others just for a few weeks means we are needed in Tesco. Just like forklift drivers and managers we are part of Tesco, pickers are needed and nothing will change that.

Conclusion 2: We Are Used.

It is very convenient for Tesco to use agency staff instead of giving us a contract. We are like a service that is bought for a few hours, like a product with the immediate possibility of being dumped all the time (eg sacking Zbyszek Bukala and Radek Sawicki). We are cheap, and Tesco takes no responsibility for our exploitation. The agencies also profit when they hire us, they earn a lot of money from our work. But what about us? Usually we are foreigners, unaware of our rights, and often without language skills. Starved of work we take whatever they give us. We do the same work as contracted workers, but we get lower salaries and none of the benefits from a contract. They do not even give us a glimmer of hope that this situation can be improved. At last we have to say loud and clear – we are used!

Conclusion 3: We Can Change It.

There are a lot of us on each shift. When we are united we have a real power. If we speak with a common voice we can change this situation for the common good. Let's do it! Instead of being a cog in the Tesco machine we can become partners.

To Sum Up Fight For Improvement Now.

Conclusion 1 – Without us Tesco Distribution would cease to function.
Conclusion 2 – There are a lot of us, united we can change our own conditions.
Conclusion 3 – If we are angry we should act, we should demand that the agencies and tesco accept our demands. We should seek support from workers on contracts.

TESCO AGENCY STAFF PROTECTION COMMITTEE DEMANDS:

1.Zbysek Bukala and Radek Sawicki Must Be Reinstated To Tesco Distribution.

The agencies attempt to transfer them to work in another company is nothing more than silencing the voices of workers. There was not even an attempt to find a solution through dialouge.

2.Contracts for agency staff after three months on the job.

This situation is unjust. While contracted workers get over €500 a week on a day shift, agency staff get just €320. Frustration and resistance is guaranteed to grow the longer you are in these conditions. There is no justification for such a policy. Whatever there arguments, they are nothing compared to our moral right to a contract. Three months on the agency's leash is enough. If Tesco need is they should treat us as normal workers.

3.The rate of 1000 cases a day must be cancelled.
The continuous raising of the daily norm (from 750, to 800, to 900 and then 1000) must be stopped. The intimidation and dismissal of workers who fall short of it can not be accepted. Everyone works in line wit their physical abilities and the health and safety regulations we were taught in training. Lifting 1000 boxes a day is a sign of a workers good will, it should not be the cause of favouritism over some one else who can not work at the same rate.

Radoslaw Sawicki, TESCO AGENCY STAFF PROTECTION COMMITEE.

Dublin, 2005-07-28

author by seedotpublication date Mon Aug 01, 2005 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

although the volume on the audio is very low.

I would ask however, what is to be achieved by the dig at the union representative. This type of thing is more likely to deflect from the key issues onto a standard 'Let's all give out about SIPTU. ' While the largest union in the country definitely has it's problems it seems to be representing migrant workers, post GAMA , very activley. The Polish Press also seems to be able to cover the story without attacking SIPTU (below). Sometimes attacking someone because they have a suit on, or because they state the facts can be counter productive.

Translation of Polish article on dispute that also circlated by email

Poles in Ireland don't want to be slaves

Joszef Krzyk, Katowice 02-07-2005, last update 01-07-2005 21:51

Radoslaw Sawicki has been hailed as the new Lech Walesa in a Tesco warehouse in Dublin. He has organised the Poles working there, gained the support of local trade unions and is fighting for equal labour rights. Tesco and the employment agency now have cases in court.

"I know it's not my country, but it's my Europe," the 28 year old Sawicki emphasises. He graduated from Torun's Mikolaj Kopernik University in history and came to Ireland seven months ago. Grafton recruitment agency offered him work carrying boxes of goods in Tesco's largest warehouse in Dublin. The wage: 9.52 euros per hour, or about 360 euros a week.

Sawicki quickly realised that Irish people working in the same job, but employed by Tesco and not by the agency as the foreigners were, earn at least 200 euros a week more. Poles also did not receive bonuses or additions although their work quotas were continually raised. At the beginning Sawicki carried 500 boxes a shift. Lately that number has doubled (i.e. several tonnes per day). When he and several colleagues complained to the shift manager they were told: "if you don't like it you can go home: there are others willing to take your place."

The next day he came to work wearing a shirt reading [in English] "We are picking 800. No more." Warehouse management threatened them with dismissal but SIPTU rowed in behind the Poles, threatening a strike. It ended with Sawicki staying, as long as he didn't come to work in his tee shirt. At the same time, SIPTU is taking Grafton Recruitment to court (the charge: exploitation of workers) as well as Tesco (for firing a Pole without giving reasons).

News of the courageous Pole spread amongst the workers in the warehouse. "Before we were anonymous; but that day we got a standing ovation in the canteen. People gave us the thumbs up and shouted out 'Lech Walesa!'" says [name removed] who works with Sawicki on the same shift (he came to Ireland from the village of Koza in Podbeskidzie). Only then did the Poles realise that in the warehouse they make up a decent-sized group - at least 20 people.

Their self-confidence was boosted not just by the trade union support but by their good knowledge of English.

"The agencies take advantage of the fact that many Poles don't know the language and therefore cannot ask about their rights," [name removed] claims.

"We will defend ourselves. We are not slaves," adds Sawicki. Now Poles, with the support of the unions, are fighting for the warehouse to treat them like their own workers.

author by Tesco Temp Defence Committeepublication date Mon Aug 01, 2005 22:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Tesco Temps Defence Committee, a group of friends and supporters of the sacked Polish workers are asking people to distribute information to highlight the exploitative use of agency workers by Tesco in their plant in Greenhills.

A group of us will be meeting at Tesco on Baggot Street (the one nearest Stephens Green) at 6pm this Thursday, August 4th to distribute information.

We are asking people to do the same outside a Tesco in their area at the same time. Please announce your attention to do so on Indymedia so other supporters may join you.

This Tuesday there will also be another international solidarity action with the sacked workers in Poland.

Below you will find links to a leaflet and poster designed to raise awareness about conditions in Tesco,

We are requesting that people distribute this leaflet to workers in the store prior to distributing it to the general public if you chose to join our campaign on Thursday

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v652/antrophe/precarity/poleposter.jpg

http://www.anarkismo.net/attachments/aug2005/tescoleaflett.pdf


Please copy and distribute the above info

author by Joepublication date Tue Aug 02, 2005 16:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tesco denies exploiting Polish workers at distribution centre
By Seán McCárthaigh

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has rejected claims the supermarket chain is exploiting Polish workers at its main distribution centre in Dublin.

Complaints by Polish workers about pay and conditions at Tesco in Ireland has received widespread media coverage in Poland in the past week.

Two Polish workers claimed they were recently sacked from Tesco?s main distribution centre at Greenhills Road, Tallaght, after they protested about demands from management to increase productivity in its packing section. ?Usually we pick 750 boxes per hour but after three months of the normal rate, our manager wants more, more, more,? said one of the former Tesco workers.
?In Tesco people were treated very bad. Used very much not as people but as a product. The target of work was increased all the time and there was no more pay for it, even when people work harder than previous.?

Workers employed by a recruitment agency at the centre are also angered that they are on different pay rates to full-time Tesco employees, while being denied the offer of contracts.
However, the company disputes claims it treated its Polish workforce unfairly.

A Tesco spokeswoman admitted the company had recently conducted a review of productivity levels which resulted in alterations to previous levels.

?The new levels are well within those specified by the International Labour Organisation,? said the spokeswoman.

She said the two men who criticised the working conditions at Tesco were contract workers employed by Grafton Recruitment.
?They were never employees of Tesco,? she said.

The spokeswoman said the two men had been transferred by Grafton to a similar position in another company with the same pay and conditions as before.
However, she admitted the two men had left Tesco as a result of discussions between Tesco and the recruitment agency. A small group of Polish workers staged at protest outside the Tallaght facility last Thursday in protest at the removal of their two colleagues.

Two demonstrations were also held outside Tesco outlets in Poland where the supermarket has a rapidly expanding business.
Polish media have carried reports that multinational and Irish employers are taking advantage of the large number of migrant workers who have moved to the Republic since the expansion of the EU last year.

It is estimated around 30% of the 200 people working at the Tesco distribution centre are hired on contract through recruitment agencies.

SIPTU official Brendan Carr said the union was in dispute with Tesco over differences in pay and conditions at the centre between full-time Tesco employees and contract staff. It is understood the dispute will be referred to the Labour Relations Commission.

author by I wonderpublication date Tue Aug 02, 2005 17:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder.

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Tue Aug 02, 2005 22:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If so, how could such appalling conditions as claimed within this website articles exist?

Damien I noted your recommendation of the Tesco website. I would recommend others to look at same and realise the profits made by TESCO.....

People deserve a fair and equitable wage; appropriate conditions of employment and a routine set of hours (there ought to be no element of exploitation or differentiation between workers and migrant workers).

There are National laws and EU laws and directives about employment. There also is the requirement of a social and ethical responsility. If you access the site, you will see the undertakings given by Tesco re. Corporate Social Responsibility. Where is the so-called Corporate governance watch-dog in Ireland?

By chance today I picked up a copy of the Impact News July/August 2005 paper.

Two areas I think may be of interest to people, are as follows:

Third Level Grant Support Scheme to support Union members and Activists....

There is limited grant assistance available to IMPACT members pursuing Industrial industrial relations, trade union studies, and other third level courses.....the aim would be be work as union members or activists.

Next there is a news article 'Exploiting migrants exploits us all!!!! It sure does.

David Begg (also with Central Bank), ICTU leader has called for an Irish work permit system, which gives permits to all powerful employers not workers 'little better than bonded slavery).

This I, an Irish person can identify with. During the recession of the 1980's, my former husband who worked in the construction industry was forced to emigrate to Zimbabwe to work for John Sisk. It was indentured and it was imbedded with insecurity and fear.....I never wish to return to such a system for a wage to pay a mortgage. Nor do I want migrants who come to work in Ireland be treated in this way.

Migrant labour so easily becomes a resource to be exploited. It is up to the people in Ireland to stand up as James Connolly/Jim Larkin (early 1900's) did and many others, for Human Rights for workers in this country and in a United Ireland.

People have been approached by employment agencies or the like and encouraged to come here to work. Promises made have many times been broken.

IMPACT speaks about a young Phillipine women being paid 1 euro per hour and working in excess of 85 hours in a week. Then there are the Turkish construction workers and the GAMA situation. Shame on us particularly as we the Irish have our own casualities of the Lump sum in England presently. These are the people who remitted money 'home' and charged our failing economy in the 1950's and 1960's particularly.

Worss is the Lativian woman enticed to work as cabin crew. She was promised euros 20,000.......all a myth and a cost via loan to her of euros 3,000. Shame .....

We need more Union members according to David Begg but we also need people availing of these grants to ensure that Corporatism in Ireland behaves itself in regard to workers.

Quotation
The scaffold and the struggle
Mary Harris Jones 'Mother Jones'
'If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold I will shout,

Freedom for the Working Class'


Michelle Clarke

author by indy ed.publication date Tue Aug 02, 2005 23:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah right! I can think of one journalist who does very well off this newswire as a source for this stories, I wonder if he'd even ever print the site URL in one of his articles. The paper wouldnt have it.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 00:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the workers met with the polish consul to france Jaroslaw Horak on Saturday last.
interesting other instance of political action and desperation from the workers of the largest new EU state. Everyone's on holidays and relaxed, but the polish are still working and not getting paid. I wrote long ago, that if the 25 state EU doesn't give equality, security and "nice things" to the workers of what was eastern europe, then it fails in its entirety and after that failure you get extremist reactions as a new generation of "easterners" will wonder why they are second class citizens.
http://www.libe.com/page.php?Article=314934

author by Questionpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 07:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is it just Polish Workers on E9.52 ph?

author by Joepublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nope all temp workers are on that rate - that's why although the issue arose with the sacking of two Polish workers their demands are for improvements for all the temp workers. A lot of the temps are migrants but some are Irish.

author by Average wagepublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is the average wage for warehousing work?

author by Joepublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The starting rate for those directly employed by TESCO's (rather than via an agency) is 12.50 - obviously that is the relevant wage for comparison here as people are doing the same work.

But actually wages are just one issue - the lack of security and the forced speeds ups (which should be a health and safety issue) are as relevant. These two are related as the lack of security allows managment to impose the speed ups. The sacking came out of resistance to these - something that should be of major concern to SIPTU (and all union members) as it suggests those who speak up will be targetted.

author by Been here for 25 yearspublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'if the 25 state EU doesn't give equality, security and "nice things" to the workers of what was eastern europe, then it fails'

I don't think it is a case of eastern europeans being targetted, or specifically exploited.

There has been a shortage of workers in Ireland, and these temp jobs have been around for years..

It just so happens that recently 'eastern Europeans' have joined the EU - tesco system was there long before this I presume..

'Everyone's on holidays and relaxed, but the polish are still working and not getting paid'

Not sure about this - not everyone is on holidays, the statuatory minimum is 20 days hols per year, and by law you have to get it..

'after that failure you get extremist reactions as a new generation of "easterners" will wonder why they are second class citizens'

Surely anyone that goes in there is on the same deal, Irish or Polish. Sounds more like an employee / employer dispute that a race thing.. If anyone is a second class citizen it the Irish person working on minimum wage. Polish people can earn money here, and go home and get set up with a decent house with the savings. An Irish person can't even afford to get started in their own country as houses etc are too expensive.

It's not black and white.

author by Joepublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I mostly agree that this is a conflict between boss and worker rather than 'racism'. The origins of the workers is relevant though in explaining why the bosses think they can get away with a speed up. They know that most Poles arriving have almost no money (many are homeless at least until they get their first pay check) no local contacts and as they mostly are not fluent can neither be very aware of nor demand their rights as 'easly' as Irish workers.

TESCO's are doing what they are doing because that is how capitalism works - it is up to the workers and those in solidarity with them to stop this. An old story in a somewhat new form for the celtic tiget.

author by belboidpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

PR05/181
For immediate release – Wednesday 3rd August 2005
Newsdesks: industrial correspondents, Liverpool regional media

T&G Polish members join nationwide Tesco protest

Polish members of the Transport and General Workers’ Union will be joining solidarity protests outside Tescos stores tomorrow in support of two sacked Polish agency workers. Radek Sawicki and Zbyszek Bukala were employed by the agency Grafton as warehouse operatives working for the Tesco’s Greenhills Road distribution centre in Dublin, and were sacked after a series of protest actions. Tomorrow there will be a picket at Tesco on Baggot Street (near Stephens Green) at 6pm and solidarity protests will take place at the same time at Tesco Metro, St Johns Shopping Centre, Liverpool City Centre; and in London, Glasgow and Oxford.

Sawicki and Bukala had been protesting over the different pay rates for agency workers (350 per week compared to 500 per week for contracted staff), and the continuous raising of daily production targets for picking boxes in the Tesco warehouse, which rose from 750 to 800, to 900 and then 1,000. Sawicki is also a member of Irish union SIPTU which is taking Grafton and Tesco to court for exploitation of workers and unfair dismissal of a Polish worker respectively.

Ewa Jasiewicz, T&G Organiser, said:

“Polish workers in the UK have the same legal rights to fair pay, dignity at work, holidays and insurance as British workers yet despite Poland's accession to the EU in May 2004, Polish workers are still being exploited. With the self-organisation and solidarity growing between migrant and domestic workers, we know this will come to an end.”

Solidarity protests will take place at the following stores, and activists are encouraged to initiate their own protests (for campaign contacts call the T&G Press Office):
London, outside Hackney Tesco, Morning Lane E9 6pm
Glasgow, Argyle Street Tesco, Lanarkshire G2 6pm
Oxford, Cowley Road Tesco, Oxfordshire, OX4 6pm

ENDS

For further information please contact the T&G Press Office on 020 7611 2549

author by gurrierpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 18:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure that this will be a real boost to the workers. Amazing to see the internet used in such a way to mobilise trade unionists and public opinion across Europe.

author by Correctionpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 20:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not in the UK, in Ireland..

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 21:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The article is written by a UK based trade unionist for UK trade unionists and it makes the point - entirely appropriately - that polish workers are exploited as well in the UK. At a time when UK based workers are coming out in support of immigrant workers in Ireland, your petty non-point is even stupider than it normally would be.

author by Alpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lidl needs to be looked at as well, conditions are totally unnaceptable.

author by asdfpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 23:53author email asdf at nitka dot net dot plauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The story is making its way to mainstreem polish media
http://www.euro.pap.pl/cgi-bin/europap.pl?grupa=1&dzien=0&ID=69749

author by iosafpublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 13:13author address barcelonaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

after 5 days hunger strike the workers (polish) of the Saint Nazarre port have succeeded in their demands for their due wages to be paid. The outstanding amount came to 30,000€. [i wrote the other day that "everyone is on holidays", that is mostly the case in continental europe, where holidays are taken for the month of august amongst the middle management and beurocrats and lawyers &c., this means the first weekend annually sees migrant workers and those in precarity left without their wages, the first week of august being the best time for a company to fold]. Polish workers are proving themselves to be culturally well prepared for collective "union" activity, and are as an ethnic group *noticably* victims of black market employers and shameful treatment, this may not be "racism" per se, it might just be economics, whichever it bodes ill for the practicalities of building a united "Europe".
http://www.libe.com/page.php?Article=315376

author by redjadepublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bernie responds to
Michael O'Farrell's 'Why are 150,000 jobless?' in the Examiner
http://www.irishexaminer.com/pport/web/ireland/Full_Story/did-sgX8S4DyD-IIcsgadLjt5C321I.asp

. . . .

Migrants don't take Irish jobs
http://irish.typepad.com/irisheyes/2005/08/migrants_dont_t.html

SPEAKING AS A MIGRANT WORKER in Ireland, I can answer Seamus Brennan's often-asked question of why 100,000 immigrants found work in Ireland while 150,000 Irish remain unemployed. The answer is simple and admittedly a sweeping statement--many of the 150,000 unemployed have a brilliant working knowledge of their entitlements and benefits since they have grown up in the knowledge of expecting them. Once they've budgeted their lifestyles within the breadbasket provided by the State, they don't wish to interrupt the flow by trying their luck in a competitive job market. Said another way, Ireland's social welfare system takes care of its own.

author by WEBHACKpublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 18:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sacked Polish workers stage Tesco protest



Polish agency workers sacked from a Tesco distribution centre are to stage a protest outside the company's store on Baggot Street, Dublin at 6pm this evening.

The two men claim they were sacked from Tesco's main distribution centre in Tallaght after complaining about management demands that productivity be improved in the packing section.

"Usually we pick 750 boxes an hour but after three months of the normal rate our manager wants more, more, more. It's not possible picking 900. You must look after your back and health and safety processes," said one of the workers.
There is a substantial difference between the rates paid to agency and contract workers with agency workers earning around €357 a week and contract workers on around €540
SIPTU Dublin Food Branch Official Brendan Carr

Along with the reinstatement of their jobs, the sacked workers and their supporters are demanding that productivity levels be reduced to a manageable level and that agency workers who work for more than three months receive a contract from Tesco.

The incident has received wide media coverage in Poland and solidarity protests are due to take place this evening in London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Oxford.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, a Tesco spokeswoman admitted that the company had recently conducted a review of productivity levels but said that the new levels were well within those outlined by the International Labour Organisation.

A spokesman for Grafton Recruitment, who employed one of the men, today said the two men in question were "subject to the same scheme of productivity improvement as all other workers at the centre - both agency and contract".

He denied that the worker employed by the agency had been sacked and said that, due to the fact that he was unhappy at Tesco, he had been offered alternative employment at "the same rate of pay, in the same area and with the same conditions".

The worker in question refused this offer and is calling for his position at the distribution centre to be reinstated.

SIPTU has taken Tesco to the Labour Relations Commission claiming that the number of agency workers employed at the distribution centre is excessive in a case to be heard on August 12th.

According to SIPTU Dublin Food Branch Official Brendan Carr, 25 per cent - 30 per cent of the employees at the distribution plant are agency workers and the union considers this "a cheap form of labour".

"There is a substantial difference between the rates paid to agency and contract workers with agency workers earning around €357 a week and contract workers on around €540," he said.

SIPTU are not involved in this evening's protests.

A Tesco spokeswoman said today that the issue of the sacked Polish workers was one for the agencies.

author by Ellepublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“150,000 unemployed have a brilliant working knowledge of their entitlements and benefits since they have grown up in the knowledge of expecting them. Once they've budgeted their lifestyles within the breadbasket provided by the State, they don't wish to interrupt the flow by trying their luck in a competitive job market”….I think that you (Jade) should withdraw that last remark. Irish men and women who receive social welfare payments do so for a variety of reasons – lack of education, personal circumstances, family commitments, disability etc. As a migrant worker I would hope that you too could avail of these benefits – should you ever NEED them. To say that migrant workers work because their Irish counterparts are too busy “playing the system” is wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself. If you have ever had to exist on social welfare I believe that you would very quickly come to see the error of remarks like “budgeted their lifestyles within the breadbasket provided by the state”. You don’t have a “lifestyle” on social welfare – you exist. It is not fun and the situation is not helped by middleclass Americans heaping scorn on an already disadvantaged group.

Shame on you.

author by Clarity_is _everythingpublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 18:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are two of their stores in Baggot St. which one is the protest at?:

Baggot Street Lower -15 Lower Baggot Street, D2

or
Baggot Street Upper - 30 Upper Baggot Street,D2
?

author by Tobie*publication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the protest is at the baggot st tesco that is closest to St. Steven Green at 6pm.

author by James Rpublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 18:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A group of us are leafleting Lower Baggot St, but depending on numbers we may split and move up to the other one as well/

author by Jason Brannigan - Organise!publication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 22:55author email organiseireland at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Despite a low turn out of half a dozen supporters the Belfast solidarity action with Tesco temp workers called by the Belfast Local of Organise! successfully raised the issue with Tesco staff, customers and passers by.

All the staff on duty where informed of the dispute in Greenhill and given copies of the leaflet published on irish indymedia. There was genuine concern expressed by the workers and support for the Tesco Temp Defence Committee's three demands. One member of staff took a number of leaflets from us and left his till to help distribute them to his fellow workers.

There was no interference from management or security.

Victory to the Tesco Temp Defence Committee.

In solidarity;

Jason Brannigan
Belfast Local, Organise!

Related Link: http://www.organiseireland.org
author by renegadopublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 05:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This Thursday evening, around 20 activists held a solidarity protest to support the onging struggle of Polish packing workers, who were sacked from the Tesco packing factory in the Greenhill's suburb of Dublin, Ireland one week ago today.

We'd turned up to let Tesco's know that people in Ireland, Poland and Britain are saying Enough Is Enough! No more hyper-exploitation. No more splitting us on national lines...

When two workers turned up last week iat the Greeenhills packing centre wearing T-shirts that said "We Won't Break Our Backs For Tesco's' - The management had them 'removed from the production line.'

Radek Sawicki and Zbyszek Bukala were sacked, not just for well having cutting edge fashion sense, also for having helped form the Tesco Temps Defence Committee at the Greenhills distribution centre in Dublin
They refused to carry out backbreaking picking work at the quotas
expected by TESCO - 900, 1000 and more boxes to be shifted per day.

Radek and Zbyszek were sacked by TESCO last week - but they and their co-workers have been fighting back with wildcat strikes and other solidarity actions, Along with the support of Irish workers, the Irish Worker Solidarity Movement ( http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/wsm/ ) and many other friends, people are trying to take the struggle to a new level.

Following the wildcat strike July 29th at the Greenhills Distro centre, the Tesco Temps Defence Committee called for pickets in solidarity with their fight.

For more background..read this:  http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=71189

So rising to the occasion, around 20 of us turned up to mark our solidarity on Thursday 7th August around tea time at Hackney Central Teaco's -

Surprisingly only two cops turned up - with one van lurking in the side streets - the Met must be stretched!
but actually on another level it was really nice - cause it meant for a change, we actually got to speak with the shoppers and workers about what's going on - instead of being just surrounded by a cordon of cops with the 'general public' keeping their heads down and walking by swiftly..

as well as outreaching to the workers and shoppers at Tescos
we sent a message to the Bosses

Don't believe for a moment you can play us off against each other on the basis of our nationalities - pick on polish migrants in Ireland..and...
You're picking on the international precariat of europe and beyond...

we had a banner saying ' Support Tesco's Workers!' and we had leaflets explaining the situation - though sadly we only had several hundred, when easily we could have given out many times more than that number given the people who were coming up and were asking wot's happening..

after about an hour or so - we wound up- but with a solid idea that if Tesco's don't settle up in the short term - and in the medium term....until all workers have control and power over their own situation....until we all have autonomy...

We will be back again!

Our resistance needs to as international as Capital!

These are the first steps... Vamos!

renegado

For news from brighton See https://www1.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/08/320334.html

author by Be accuratepublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 08:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As posted above it isn't split on National lines. There seems to be a martyr complex at play here. There are Irish and others in the same situation in Tesco's.

Like another posting by redjade about Irish people playing the social welfare system you should examine your own predjudices first.

Try being inclusive to Irish and Poles not preaching exclusively for Polish rights. If it is about workers rights in general don't play the race card.

author by Duinepublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sea, bhí an bhéim rud beag as alt, ceart go leor. Is sárú ceart na n-oibrithe é, seachas ceart na n-inimiriceoirí amháin.
Mar a dúirt mé sa chéad thrácht thuas, nuair a bhí ma san Ollainn ag obair do ollmhargadh chaitheadh mar an gcéanna linn, idir Ollainnigh is eachtranaigh. Bhí an córas chéanna i réim acu: daoine shealadacha agus gan conarthaí le fáil acu.
Tá meas agam ar an bPolainneach a sheas lena cheart ina choinne. Ní raibh an t-ucht ag éinne a dhéanamh san Ollainn,mise san áireamh.
Tá post sa cheardchumainn tuillte aige agus is mithid do na hoibrithe ceangal leis an ceardchumann chun chur i gcoinne na gcomhluchtaí móra.

author by Chekovpublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 16:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anybody who has ever worked as a migrant abroad knows full well that the bosses try to get away with much more against immigrants than they do against 'native' workers.

It is _also_ about casualisation, temping agencies (or bloodsucking parasitic scavengers on misery to be more accurate) and so on which affects everybody. But to pretend that the immigrant nature of the workers involved here is not an issue is just plain wrong. How many bosses would even dream of trying to get away with a Gama on Irish builders? (well they all dream of it, but they know that they'd be told where to go sharpish).

author by Duinepublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 16:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is fíor dhuit, a chekov.
Tuige nach bhfui picéidí roimh na háisíneachtaí fostaíochta agus daoine ag tathaint ar an Aire Saothair athrú a thabhairt faoin dlí le leas na noibrithe sealadacha?

author by MadazHellpublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 17:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't know where your author got his "facts" from but there is a pick rate across Tescos.Anyone that works in a DC knows that they must pick a certain amount in each shift they work.Whilst I feel a certain amount of empathy with the Polish boys in the way they have been treated,the pick rate of 100 boxes an hour is being done in other DCs.

author by Joepublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Read the article more carefully - it describes a 'speed up' from 750 boxes/day (which is just under 100/hour) to 1000 boxes a day (which is 125/hour).

author by Duinepublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Agus mise san Ollainn, ní raibh sé mar an gcéanna mar bhí earraí an-throma ann (púdar níochán, buideáil, cannaí, 7rl) agus earraí an éadroma ann ( brioscáin, tuaillí páipéar).
Ní thuigim conas a mbeadh "áireamh earraí "cothrom.
Cé aige a bhfuil fios?

author by leedspublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 21:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/08/320486.html

Photos and text report from the leeds solidarity action

author by Diarmopublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 15:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whats the latest about the Polish guys in Tesco??

author by Lisapublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would like to ask what makes you think that you have more rights as polish workers. My boyfriend has worked in Tesco in Tallaght and went in on the same rate as set out by agency. This is nothing against the polish, it is a fact of life. No body forced you to take the job, if the money is too low for these people then why did they take the job in the first place.??????????

author by Joepublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lisa the Poles called their campaign 'Tesco Temp Workers Defence Committee' because they see themselves as fighting for all Temp workers in TESCO's. (ie it wasn't called 'Polish Tesco Temp Workers Defence Committee').

If they win then your boyfriend will earn around 100 euro a week more than he does now. Plus he won't have to put his health at risk lifting too many boxes per hour. Plus after 3 months he will have the right to be made permanent. If there is a downside to this for him I can't see it - but maybe ask the TESCO PR people for help with this.

----

AFAIK what comes next has not yet been decided but SIPTU are also looking at an LRC case.

author by Lisapublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for pointing that out to me Joe, but it seems to me that this is all about the polish, no matter what title they give.
Tesco distribution pay a higher rate than most distribution centre's and on my boyfriends first day, he sat in the agency with 6 other workers, 2 Irish, 1 Nigerian and 3 Polish and was informed that the position was ongoing but that there would not be an option of Full time positions. he also had to sign a form to say that they would not approach any manager looking for full time work.
All these people are doing is wasting time and giving tesco a bad name.
As i said before, no-one forced them to take the job. So, this little prostest is, in my opinion, the Polish workers paying the racism card. And that is an old card to play

author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 18:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You could be supporting a strike action to ensure higher-paid, safer work for your boyfriend but instead you're busy playing the racist card. Maybe you don't like your boyfriend?

author by Albertpublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 18:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lisa could of course address the points made by Joe. Instead s/he prefers to continue trolling.
Seems to me that it is "Lisa" who is the one playing the racism card.

author by Rudapublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 21:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We have seen your solidarity actions with Polish workers sacked from TESCO or have been given your e-mail from Radek Sawicki. Thank you for support.

We just want to inform you that we organize soldarity protests under TESCOs on 12.08.2005 in Poland (Friday).
They will take place in:
- Poznan, time: 15:30 (Polish time), TESCO on Serbska 7 street
There will be a press conference with Radek Sawicki in Poznan.
- Warsaw, time: 17:00, TESCO-Kabaty (al. Komisji Edukacji Narodowej 14) (in Warsaw protest take also place on 10.08, time: 17:00, TESCO-Kabaty)ps@syndykalista.org 0048501 303 351
- Gdynia, time: 18:30, TESCO-Karwiny, dziarski_henk@op.pl
- Szczecin, ds348@wp.pl

Besides expressing solidarity with dismissed Polish workers and protesting against TESCO, it is going to be a possibility to talk about supermarkets more generally (which put small traders out of business, bully suppliers, exploit cheap foreign workers, damage the environment, abuse worker’s rights, pay lower taxes or don’t pay it at all)). We are going to underline that case of Zbyszek and Radek is not an exception- too often happen when neoliberal system we live in and globalization of capital let business exploit and intimidate workers.

Walka Trwa! (The Struggle Continues!)

Tesco Temps Defence Committee,
Anarchist Federation of Poland (section Poznan),
O.Z.Z. Inicjatywa Pracownicza (independent „Workers Initiative” Trade Union)

contact: ruda@rozbrat.org, 0048 504 550 857 (also in English)
http://www.rozbrat.org/pracownicza.htm

Poster and leaflet to download in polish from:

http://www.ucdsu.net/attachments/aug2005/anti_tesco21.jpg

and link below...

poster
poster

author by Joepublication date Tue Aug 09, 2005 23:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A cynic might suggest that 'Lisas' lack of interest in either her 'boyfriends' wages or welfare yet her fascination with the good name of TESCO's suggests she may not be all she claims. I wonder what the TESCO PR budget is?

author by Lisapublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

May i point out, that I was delighted that my Boyfriend found a job that he likes and that is bringing a decent wage in. The fact that he listened to these people who helped him get the job I think is why he is so happy there. He is not under any illusions and not expecting a full time position because it was not part of the offer. Maybe the problem is that these workers did not listen

author by Peterpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I totally agree with Lisa, My best friend also works in Tesco through an agency and along with other nationalities was informed that there would be no permanent jobs after 3 months. He had to sign documents not to approach managers at tesco. He has been working in this warehouse now for 5 months and is very happy.

author by Major Woodypublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Now which regular troll is obsessed with 'race' and is fond of backing up his claims by posting similar stories under multiple names?

Neat confirmation of the anti-worker/pro business agenda of fascism dumbass.

author by Peterpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I do beleive all this could of been avoided had the temporay workers involved had only listened before they started working in tesco. By the way I am not a he/she have no idea who lisa is, but I totaly agree with her!!

author by Jasonpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I work for tesco's and how can temp workers expect to be paid the same rate as full time staff considering it took us years to work up to our currect rate of pay. I think that this strike action will only jeopardize the job market for everybody. The two polish lads that started this sorry mess are gone back to poland leaving distruction in there path. How I ask do they think that this has helped anybody.

author by Solidarisnocpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The efforts of "Lisa" and "Peter" are totally laughable. As for "Jason", what part of the company do you work in? PR section perhaps?
Divide and rule, eh "Jason"?
No way will we "Let it go"

author by Jasonpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I work in the warehouse and have been there for 7 years. The whole saga is a joke get over it.

author by Major Woodypublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jason nee Peter nee Lisa really is dumb.

Anyone actually working in the depot would know that the STARTING RATE for permanent workers is a couple of euros an hour more than what the temps get. If your going to play the 'I know what I'm talking about' game Jason nee Peter nee Lisa at least read the article which even explained this for you.

I'd guess the fascists over on snivelfront must be getting excited about the TESCO struggle. How long before they are at each others throats over whether or not Poles are 'white' I wonder?

author by Peterpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I really do think you need to get your facts correct before posting these comments. I am disgusted with what you write and can not see the other side to your little story!!!

author by Lisapublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is with the "?? I am well capable of speaking for myself and would not be bothered to use different names! Just because a couple of people are questioning your values, don't assume that I am not genuine.
Grow up "MAJOR WODDY" and get a life!!!!!!!!!!!

author by Real workerpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps yiz could actually deal with the issues rather than just inventing imaginary friends who 'work in tesco'.

author by Lisapublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 13:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Real Worker" must be a joke for starters........

And i haven't made up anyone. the fact of the matter is, these people are moaning instead of either getting on and doing their work, or going elsewhere.
As i said before, don't take the job if you are going to winge like a baby who can't get their own way. let people who are prepared to work have the job instead. End of story as far as I am concerened. You are all talking crap.

author by Schnewspublication date Sun Aug 14, 2005 17:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Poor cash-strapped family grocers Tesco are facing a wave of
protests after trying to squeeze more work out of their staff. In
2004 Tesco scraped a mere £1.6bn in profits - just £4.4m a day.
One in every eight pounds spent in Britain's shops is spent in one
of their charming village stores, but they want the other seven.
(See SchNEWS 493 for plenty more about Tesco). Clearly they need
more money, so they are on a productivity-raising drive. The
all-consuming out-of-town amoeba has demanded higher and higher
work rates from staff, and especially casuals, in exchange for the
same pay. And they can do that, they think, because "they're only
temps - if we break one we can just get another."

At a distribution warehouse in Greenhill, Dublin, the number of
(heavy) boxes (of crap) that staff were ordered to move went from
750 up to 800, 900 and then a back-aching 1,000 a day. If casual
agency staff fail to meet the bosses' skyrocketing expectations,
they can be sacked.

Tesco have been using two agencies, Jobs and Grafton, to provide
them with cheap, mostly Polish labour. Temps also get less money
than the workers lucky enough to have a contract.

After speaking out two of the Polish agency workers, Zbyszek
Bukala and Radek Sawicki, were effectively sacked. On 28th of July
twelve pissed-off Poles with bad backs picketed the warehouse
demanding the return of the fired workers, the end of the
1000-a-day targets, and contracts for anyone who worked longer
than 3 months for Tesco. Other workers inside temporarily downed
tools in solidarity.

They appealed for solidarity demos, and last Thursday there were
pickets outside Tescos in Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow, Leeds,
Oxford and London. Leeds picketers reported some shoppers saying,
'Thanks for doing this, I hate Tescos!' and 'I must find somewhere
else to shop.' One shopper joined the picket. Some of the
picketers were Polish and had their own stories to tell about
exploitative bosses and dodgy agencies.

The story bounced around the internet and came to Poland, where
there was lots of interest. Similar disputes have happened in
other European countries recently. Solidarity protests are planned
around Poland.

It is estimated that there are over 50,000 Polish workers in
Ireland. Many were hired through temping agencies to provide cheap
labour after Poland joined the EU. Firms like Tesco know they can
treat migrant labour worse than locals because they may not know
their rights or even speak English. Tesco has expanded massively
into former-Communist countries like Poland, putting many small
farmers out of business and contributing to unemployment, already
at around 40% in many rural areas - which then sends unemployed
young people to countries like Ireland looking for work. Policy
researcher Dominic Eagleton has commented that "the growth of
supermarkets in developing countries is really undermining the
fight against poverty."

* For detailed info on Tesco see profile by Corporate Watch at
www.corporatewatch.org

* Follow the story and find out how to get involved by doing a
search for the word 'Tesco' on Irish Indymedia: www.indymedia.ie
or have a look at The Workers Initiative website:
www.ip.hardcore.lt

author by interestedpublication date Mon Aug 22, 2005 19:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any more news on this??

author by grapevinepublication date Mon Aug 22, 2005 20:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not sure if true

author by Duinepublication date Mon Aug 22, 2005 21:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bua eile do Thesco, máisea, agus dlí na gcomhlachtaí.

An bhfuil na ceardchumainn nó polaiteoir éigin ann leis an dlí a leasú ar mhaithe le "hoibrithe ar chonradh" ?

author by Internet Searcherpublication date Sat Aug 27, 2005 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://ruganegra.uw.hu/misc/tesco/index.htm demo in Poland
http://ruganegra.uw.hu/misc/tesco/index.htm photos of some of the mainstream press coverage
http://indymedia.hu/

author by uk tesco dc pickerpublication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 07:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what is the big deal with the 100 boxes and hour? i work in a tesco dc in england and get 25 min picks with 142 cases 15 min picks with 75 cases and its not a problem . some picks we get have around 250 cases wit a time of 40 mins i really dont understand how you can moan about your pick rate i think you lot are quite lucky and need to carlm down before tescos makes you work the way we do. but as for the company itself they do ask to much and health and safty isnt what it should be have a look at www.verylittlehelps.com and see for yourself

author by Liampublication date Tue Dec 19, 2006 03:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... folks! Nobody asked these people to take jobs with Tesco, but if they want Tesco's money then for god's sake let them do the job and stop whingeing. And it doesn't matter if they're Polish, Irish, British, Martian ... it isn't racist to say if somebody takes a job they should just get on with it and take the money, which is why they're doing it in the first place. I'm no real fan of Tesco (I prefer Sainsbury or even Asda) but if they're paying the piper then they should be calling the tune. A troublemaker is a troublemaker, whatever nationality he is.

And no, I'm not Lisa or Peter or whoever else you tried to shut up in previous posts. It must be awful to be so insecure in your views and so unable to construct a coherent argument that you have to stoop to insulting posters with views that differ from your own. And, BTW, it isn't being racist to state an opinion about people of another race. It is freedom of speech, but then that is what you tried to stop in Lisa, etc's posts, isn't it? I believe one day the people of Ireland, both North and South, will be sorry they didn't put strong restrictions on Eastern European immigration.

author by Caobhinpublication date Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" it isn't racist to say if somebody takes a job they should just get on with it and take the money, which is why they're doing it in the first place. "

Agreed that's not racist - the plebs should be happy for a job and take whatever the boss deems proper. So stage one - convicted, by his own words, gobshite.

" A troublemaker is a troublemaker, whatever nationality he is."

A "troublemaker"? - standing agaonst exploitation equals lefty scum spreading commie atheism eh? Stage two - rightwing throwback

" BTW, it isn't being racist to state an opinion about people of another race. It is freedom of speech, "(blah blah) "I believe one day the people of Ireland, both North and South, will be sorry they didn't put strong restrictions on Eastern European immigration. "

Two denials of racism from this character- we have stage three- strip away the weasel pondlife arguments of the slave and the real position is - just another racist moron.

author by Polepublication date Mon May 07, 2007 09:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This strike isn`t just only in interest of Poles. If immigrants will agree to work for the minimal wage and unhuman exploitation, chance for higher starting wages will be poor and convincing your employer to give you a raise will be almost impossible (you could hear "I can always employ someone cheaper, you know...furriner" and that`s the fastest way to create tension between Irish and immigrants). Many thanks for warm words from Irish m8s - we do aprecciate it.

author by concernedpublication date Tue Oct 02, 2007 00:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>> Would anybody like to call to the SPAR
>> supermarket in Mulhuddart Village,
>> Dublin 15. Wait until it is freezing weather
>> outside and see how the workers are
>> made to work in freezing cold conditions
>> in this shop. The workers had no heating
>> all last winter but the owner was kind
>> enough to supply them with fleece jackets.
>> I stopped shopping in this store because
>> i couldn't look at the pitiful faces of the
>> polish workers as they worked in freezing
>> conditions. These migrants were allowed
>> into Ireland so that the employers could
>> exploit them and increase their profit margin
>> Beggs and company don't care about Irish
>> workers rights so don't expect them to care
>> about the Poles. The Unions are in the
>> employ of the government not the workers
>> who pay their union fees. Unions are now
>> just businesses.

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