A collective protest has been happening for more than two months in the Chinese factory of Chung Hong Electronics Poland. A few days ago workers decided on a referendum to go on strike. The workers demand: a wage increase (to 70 Euro/80 USD a month); the restoration of the social fund, a reduction of the the annual overtime limit, the restoration of free transport for workers, and other issues related to workplaces and work schedules. On 28th of June a worker activist was fired on disciplinary ground. The response of other workers was an immediate strike action that will continue on 2nd of July. We ask for sending a protest letter to Chung Hong and LG Electronics Poland to show solidarity with their struggle.
During the first strike referendum the boss sent guards who forcefully kicked out union reps from workers' buses. Between June 19 and 22 the second strike referendum took place in the factory, and 54.9% of the employees took part of which 89.4% were in favor of a strike. In the coming days, workers will decide about the strike. During the mediation with the boss on June 23 that lasted for eight hours the employers and their subordinates were sitting in the room while workers were not invited and only a negotiator talked to them.
Although workers have proposed several compromises, the management remains deaf to any arguments and rejects any agreement. The Chung Hong management wants to resolve the conflict forcefully and does not hesitate to use outrageous, illegal measures to put pressure on workers. On the 28th of June, Krzysztof Gazda, worker and member of Inicjatywa Pracownicza was dismissed, a clear violation of Polish labour and union law. He was dismissed because – as Chinese bosses claim – he organized a strike referendum, took part in the rally in front of the factory and demanded an immediate intervention of the negotiator during the collective dispute.
Receiving the information about dismissal of Krzysztof, workers refused to work and started to strike. They elected a striking committee. 15 the most active workers (members of Inicjatywa Pracownicza) were locked in the canteen by the boss in order to separate them from the rest of the production workers. The boss sent guards against workers, so that they could not leave the room. Police was sent to the factory but refused to take any action. In the late night workers were forced to leave the factory and were provided separate bus transport so they stay separated from the rest of workers.
Employers threatens also to dismiss others who took part in the strike and in the strike referendum, and obstructs contacts between the Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Workers' Initiative) members and the other workers.
Workers declare to continue strike on Monday, 2nd of July. Inicjatywa Pracownicza is organizing a rally in front of the factory the same day. We call for any solidarity actions and massages on the 2nd of July and later on, especially in front of LG offices.
The arena of conflict is a factory located in a Special Economic Zone in Poland that benefit from many tax reductions (tax exemptions, refunds for the cost of employment). Chung Hong produces almost exclusively for LG Electronics Poland and, therefore, depends on orders from LG.
In the face of harsh repressions and the strike action at Hong Chung, Inicjatywa Pracownicza initiates a protest campaign to express support for the workers in struggle. We expect that the main contractor LG Electronics Poland, the governors of the Special Economic Zone, and local authorities to take a position on the conflict.
What can you do?
Inicjatywa Pracownicza asks supporters, fellow workers and comrades, worker organizations and trade unions to support workers of Chung Hong Electronics! The employer must feel the pressure from below coming from the outside the factory. We ask for any publicity you can give and any possible ways of support.
Solidarity is our weapon!
Please see the example letter of protest and send it to:
Chung Hong Electronics
YU Yung Tsai - chairman of the board
55-040 Biskupice Podgórne
LG Electronics Polska Sp. z.o.o.
Don Hyung Kang
Aleje Jerozolimskie 162A
Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A.
Industrial Developement Agency
Oddział w Tarnobrzegu
ul. Zakładowa 30
Letter of protest
I express my great concern about the current situation in the factory of Chung Hong Electronics in Biskupice Podgórne in the Special Economic Zone near Wroclaw. Chung Hong is abusing basic labour rights and the rights of the union Inicjatywa Pracownicza to run its activity. Workers went on strike, and I want to show solidarity with them.
Chung Hong is an almost exclusive subcontractor of LG Electronics Poland, that is why LG is also responsible for the situation.
Inicjatywa Pracownicza has entered the collective dispute with the employer more that two months ago. However, the employer, claiming that it is only an LG contractor, refuses to meet the basic demands of workers, including a wage increase (the wage is now the lowest in the entire Zone), the restoration of the Social Fund for workers, and others.
Moreover, worker activists are intimidated, harassed and threatened with dismissals. On the 28th of June Krzystzof Gazda was fired on disciplinary ground, a clear violation of Polish labour and union law. The company has sent guards against workers. Such politics of intimidation and the lack of will to find an agreement about any of the union demands shows that the Chinese Chung Hong owners do not recognize the Polish labour law, the law on the settlement of collective disputes, and the freedom of workers' association.
I protest against the actions of the Chung Hong owners. I expect a reaction of LG Electronics Poland and Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu (Industrial Development Agency) against the abuse of labour rights and freedom of association in the Chung Hong factory.
I demand immediate reinstatement of Krzysztof Gazda to work!