Saturday, June 28, 2008

This coming July 4 there will be a trial in Warsaw Poland concerning the firing of "Jakub G", a person who was fired by the Lionbridge Corporation in Warsaw for union organizing. The trial will be to determine the legality of this dismissal. The Slovakian anarchosyndicalist Direct Action group is active in promoting solidarity for Jakub, and they ask you to join with them. Here is their appeal from the A-Infos website. The following has been slightly edited for reasons of spelling and grammar.
Slovakia-Poland, Th e anarchist Direct Action (Priama Akcia*) Solidarity for Lionbridge Protest
Direct Action (Priama Akcia) from Slovakia is very active in supporting the Lionbridge Protest. They have made the following page: ---- Join an international week of protests against the labour practices of Lionbridge corporation ---- On 4th July 2008, a trial starts between Jakub G. and the Polish branch of Lionbridge (LB). From 30th June till 6th July there will be a week of actions around the world against the anti-union practices of LB. The case may be critical to syndicalist activities not only in Poland but also globally. Priama akcia (IWA/AIT Slovakia) would like to ask you to show your solidarity with Jakub in Poland. There are several ways to do so in each country.
No matter what you do, it is important to do it, if possible, before 4th July so that info about what you did will hit the Warsaw branch before the trial starts.
1) ORGANISE ACTION in front of LB branch in your city and/or PAY A VISIT to the management Any actions directly at LB branches are more than welcome. It doesn't have to be dozens of people. A small group of friends can organize ultrafast and put a pressure easily as well. Check out for seats of LB branches worldwide.
(chats, mailing lists, discussion forums...)Many people spend some time online daily and have favourite chats, forums or mailing lists. Some also might know about specialized forums for IT folks, interpreters, unionists etc. Sending information to all kinds of online discussion platforms may have several positive effects:
* It can bring info about the case to people and show that we can do something to defend ourselves against employers
* It can be a good impulse to discuss the theme.
* The name of the company gets into circulation and that can be a signal for example for IT workers' or interpreters' community to be careful when looking for a job in such a company.
As a model message could be used perhaps this (or modification of course):
You might have heard about a trial that takes place in Warsaw on 4th July 2008 between Lionbridge corporation and a unionist Jakub G. . Lionbridge is a transnational corporation offering localization of software and other services. It has branches on several continents, mostly in Europe, USA, India and China.
In the beginning of 2008 Jakub G. was fired from the Polish branch in Warsaw because he founded a union together with his colleagues. The company said that he is author of an article telling about the Dublin LB taking over a contract for interpreting for the Irish Courts that led to the decrease of the position of professional interpreters and to lower wages. However, this information, including revenues and wages of interpreters, is publicly accessible on the internet – including on the Lionbridge website, newspapers and bulletins of interpreters' unions. This was clearly a pretext to fire a trade-union organizer.
Before the trial starts there is going to be an international week of actions for readmission of Jakub that anyone can easily join. For more info click here
It would be interesting to know whether you've seen similar problems at your workplace, or whether you have experience with attempts to divide project managers and the rest of interpreters in such companies. Or whether you have similar experiences which have not been publicized (tell us how things were solved).
Here you have info what the case is about:
Here is a link to an action in support of the dismissed employee:
Perhaps the most interesting is the interview with Jakub here:
There are other interesting matters, and perhaps someone here even works or worked for LB.
Contact for Warsaw branch responsible for the firing:
Lionbridge Poland
183 Jutrzenki St.
02-231 Warsaw
Tel: +48 22 865 99 00
Fax: +48 22 865 99 30
Send a copy of the e-mail and/or the fax also to the union:
Contacts for other national branches can be found here:
Fax can include for example this text:
I am aware of the dismissal of Jakub G., an employee of the Warsaw branch of Lionbridge, because of his union activities. I appeal to Lionbridge to immediately stop the practices that lead to the suppression of basic employee rights and I demand his readmission.
I will inform my friends and the general public about this case by different means.
You must be aware that Jakub is going to win in the court. Do not jeopardize your current reputation and your clients! Accept that you made a mistake and reinstate Jakub! Respect basic employee rights, such as the right to form a trade-union! Your company will be judged on how it respects employee rights.
Usually there are procedures to inform a central branch of the company in such cases, thus this form of protest has a similar impact as if you were directly protesting in Warsaw!
Call and ask the manager to come to the phone in the matter of the company’s employee in Poland. Tell that you know about the dismissal case in Warsaw and you are indignant at what the company did and demand the immediate readmission of Jakub. Note that in case it doesn't happen, you will inform other people about what is happening. What you tell is of course up to you. What is important is not to have a mini court trial fight but to let them know people know about what they did and they will do actions to immediately stop such practices..
Telephone to Warsaw: +48 22 865 99 00
Other country contacts:
(in e-mails or icq, make some online banner and so on)
You can send info about the case to your friends:
* to all the people in your e-mail address book
* to people from you icq list (msn, jabber whatever ;))
and ask them to find a moment to show their support. It is likely that they will do it in some way. You know, friends are friends ;)
If you can, prepare some online banner and spread it. One banner is here:
Inform us about what you've done so we can share that with Jakub and see what was the response and overall interest in the support actions. Thanks beforehand.
Priama akcia – Slovak section of International Workers' Association (IWA/AIT)

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