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IP in 2011: chronology of events

ip.resizedThis is the 2011 chronology of events Inicjatywa Pracownicza has been involved in:

In January, workers of the Baltic Spinning factory in the Special Economic Zone of Goleniow join IP. This is the first case of union organizing in the SEZ since it was created in 1995.

In February the management fires three activists from the IP founding committee. They go to the labor court to demand reinstatement, and protest actions are organized in Goleniow city center.

In February, women workers of the Greenkett factory go on a wildcat strike as for few months in a row their wage has been paid late. All day they refuse to work on the machines. The same month the IP section in Nowa Sol supports a two week factory occupation by women workers producing car parts. Female IP members who formed "Women with Initiative" take part in the March 8 demonstration in Warsaw together with Greenkett workers to protest against the discrimination and exploitation of women.

In February, the IP-sections of Silesia and Krakow organize pickets in front of OBI supermarkets in Dabrowa Gornicza, Katowice, Krakow, Bytom, Tychy and Czestochowa to protest against the company's low wages and anti-labour policies. The same month the Krakow-section organizes a picket in front of the OTTO job agency to support Polish migrants exploited by OTTO in the Netherlands.

In March, the Congress of IP delegates elects seven new members of the National Committee who choose a new general secretary. The congress also decides on further steps to financial autonomy of all union sections. A special edition of the union bulletin is published on the 10th anniversary of Inicjatywa Pracownicza.

On the 1st of May, IP organizes a demonstration in the city of Nowa Sol. For many years the regional IP-section has been active supporting precarious workers in a Special Economic Zone and those living in communal housing. The connection between the workers' movement and the tenants' movement and their demands are the main topic of the demonstration.

In May, a worker of the Inne Meble furniture shop in Poznan join a cross-company section of IP that subsequently runs a leafleting and picketing campaign to improve the working conditions in the shop. Moreover, a rally is organized in front of the company's main office in the city of Lublin. The labor inspectorate confirms the accusations of IP, and the company pays a fine and improves the working conditions.

In June, the IP-section of the HCP factory in Poznan organizes a rally on the 55th anniversary of the workers' uprising in 1956 that started at their workplaces (then called Stalin Metalworks). During the rally workers express their grievances with the large number of dismissals. In June, the 3rd summer-camp of IP takes place.

In June, workers of the ZOO Centrum pet shop in Poznan join IP. They fight for a wage increase, improved working conditions and better treatment of animals in the shop. The boss does not prolong the contracts for those who he suspects of joining IP (six employees out of eight in the shop). IP calls for a boycott of the shop and organizes three rallies in front of shops that belong to the same chain.

Also in June, an IP member from a hospital in Bielsko-Biala is reinstalled by the labor court and gets a high compensation.

In summer, IP runs a campaign on workers' rights at job agencies and in support of workers who have temporary and precarious labor contracts. Posters and leaflets are distributed in a number of Polish cities. IP activists also get engaged in the tenants' movement in a few Polish cities (Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Nowa Sol). They resist evictions, join demonstrations, prevent rent increases in communal and social housing, publish texts and prevent the construction container-houses for poor people.

IP organizes protests and campaigns against privatization and the pay increase in nurseries and kindergartens in Poznan and Chojnice. Moreover, IP uses official public consultations to stop the plans of local governments.

On the 1st of September, IP organizes a rally in Kostrzyn to demand the payment of unpaid wages of hospital workers. The local government owes them more than 1 million Euros.

The same month, IP-activists in Chojnice support a women worker who got seriously injured at work in a restaurant but the boss does not recognize her as an employee and refuses to pay insurance and compensation.

In September, an IP-delegate attends the meeting of the Red and Black Coordination in Sweden.

In autumn new IP-sections are formed in Torun and Gdansk. Some members of the Torun-section who work on the construction site of a Plaza shopping mall start to fight for the payment of unpaid wages, for a wage increase and against the unfair subcontracting system. A solidarity action is organized in Poznan's Plaza center by the local IP-section.

[update comming]

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