Friday, August 01, 2008

The following is from the A-Infos site, but it originates from the Workers' Initiative website in Poland. If Molly's often faulty memory and her search efforts prove right this is the "non-AIT" anarcho-syndicalist group in Poland. the item, strangely enough, comes via Portugal where the AIT has little to no support. Poland has two anarcho-syndicalist groups, and maybe that sort of thing should be imitated elsewhere as it leads to "healthy competition" as to which can be the most effective in defending workers' rights. That, of course, is an offhand thought, but it may be true nonetheless.
In any case the following describes how people have rallied behind the case of a dismissed postal worker in Poland. It's an outstanding example of what solidarity actually means, making the case of an individual-rationally- the case of the majority of the people.
Poland: syndicalist and anarchist militants in solidarity with dismissed postman:
In July several actions took place in Poland and in other European countries. They were a reaction to the dismissal of Bartosz Kantorczyk, Workers' Initiative activist in the Polish Post Office.
---- On 16 July in the morning a solidarity rally took place in front of the headquarters of Polish Post Office in Gdansk, where Bartosz worked.
---- Around 30 post workers, WI activists from Gdansk, anarchists, leftists and friends of Bartosz gathered. The dismissed worker also came there and he was wearing a t-shirt saying "Dismissed but still inconvenient".The other demonstrators held banners saying "Hands off Workers' Initiative Trade Union", "Stop repression for strikes!".
They were shouting slogans "No exploitation at life's expense!", "Managers go to work for 1000 zlotys (300 euro)", etc.
There were also two protests in Warsaw - one organized by ZSP, Polish Syndicalists' Union(the AIT group I believe-Molly) - in front of the General Headquarters of Polish Post Office. In the rally at 7 a.m. also samba drummers and activists from LA - Leftist Alternative took part.
They handed out leaflets with information on the conditions of work in the post office and about Kantorczy's case in particular. Another rally took place in the afternoon, a few dozen people from different organizations and trade unions took part in it.
In Poznan, around 30 activists of WI and the Anarchist Federation took part in the rally in front of the Post Office Local Management headquarters. They held banners saying "Priority: the safety of postmen work'", "Registered letter: bring Kantorczyk back to work".
In Cracow, around 30 people from WI, the Anarchist Federation and the Sierpien'80 Trade Union protested in front of the Post Office local headquarters.
Also, in Szczecin, people from WI and ZSP protested.
10 people from LaLucza collective took part in a rally in Torun; they held a banner saying "Stop breaking workers' rights in the Polish Post Office". They handed out leaflets and gave a letter to the management to the Post Office officials complaining about Kantorczyk's case.
Activists from the Workshops of Local Activity protested in the same cause in Opole. There more similar actions in different towns in Poland, e.g. in Zielona Gora or in Rybnik.In the capital city of Lithuania there was a solidarity rally in front of the Polish embassy. The activists climbed up the trees nearby and dropped a10-meter-long banner saying "Solidarity with Kantoryczk".
An activist from portal presented the situation of Bartosz and also the information about Polish trade unions' activities. An activist from the Polish Organization of the New Left read a protest letter in two languages,Polish and Lithuanian, and then delivered it to the ambassador's representative. They demanded bringing Kantorczyk back to work.
Police illegally took IDs from all the participants of the rally, saying that the demonstration was illegal.
On 22 July Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organized a protest in London In front of the Polish embassy. They handed out hundreds of leaflets about workers' rights, one of the banners said (in Polish): "Poland is violating workers' rights".
On the same day, WI sent another letter to the General Manager of the Post Office demanding negotiations about Kantorczyk's case. The company was also sued for the illegal dismissal and WI demands bringing him back to work.
Workers' Initiative will hold other protests in defense of Bartosz Kantorczyk, including demonstrations in front of Polish embassies in other European countries.

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