A small demonstration called by London IWW took place last week in support of another radical union, ‘Workers’ Initiative’ (Inicjatiwa Pracownicza) in Poland. It was called to support WI members being discriminated against in the Polish postal service, and particularly the sacking of a member – Bartosz Kantorczyk – for his lead role in a wave of strikes last year. The IWW is demanding his reinstatement and back-pay from the date of his termination.
The demo was attended by around 10 people, most of whom were wobblies. English and Polish banners were atteched to railings and bilingual leaflets were distributed to passers-by. Demonstrators also managed to collar the top dog at the embassy to discuss the issue. The IWW also sent a formal letter to the embassy demanding that they put pressure on the postal service to quit their union busting ways. The Polish postal service are not co-operating with the union because, unlike the main unions, WI refuses to cosy up to management and maintains a militant platform.
In 2007, the Workers’ Initiative sparked a number of strikes in the postal service in Poland, especially in Gdansk, inspiring members of the larger unions to participate too. Obviously, management do not want such displays of workers’ solidarity, and will go to any lengths to crush unity between the rank-and-file of different unions. Kantorczyk is a key activist in the union, and his sacking is a deliberate union-busting ploy by management to ensure that these events of 2007 are not repeated.
There was also a lively picket of the Polish Consular in Edinburgh, on the same day.
More Pictures of the action on indymedia.