NSZZ „Solidarność” campaign in LIDL Poland

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NSZZ „Solidarność” campaign in LIDL Poland

  1. At the beginning of 2013 „Solidarność” trade union was established in LIDL.

  2. In April 2013 company organization sent to the management “Agreement on cooperation” which described the rules for conducting social dialogue in the company. The management promised to give its opinion to it within 30 days

  3. The employer from the very beginning did not want to talk to union representatives; the situation of the workers was deteriorating (among others increasing bulk of work for decreasing number of workers, higher and higher effectiveness norms, majority of workers without open-ended contracts, employed only part-time). Because of this, at the end of September, Commerce and Banking Secretariat of NSZZ “Solidarność” decided to conduct in front of LIDL stores protest actions in several Polish cities. The protests were organized as pickets with elements of a happening, e.g. with workers wearing masks of robots or an employer sitting behind his desk with information that he is waiting to meet trade union representatives on the 32nd of the month.

  4. In response to the protests LIDL Poland issued a statement that they fully respect the Act on trade unions, strive to create best working conditions possible and are open to social dialogue with all workers representatives on the condition that they respect the rules guaranteeing constructive discussion of important issues.

  5. At the beginning of October the protest was continued. Trade union members did their shopping and then paid for the products with coins only, this way effectively blocking cash registers.

  6. When at the beginning of December 2013 both the president as well as her deputy of the company trade union organization were fired on false accusations “Solidarność” authorities adopted a statement condemning employer’s behavior and demanding to stop the harassment of legally operating trade union organization. They also warned of large scale protests in case the employer did not withdraw from illegal dismissal of trade union management on disciplinary grounds. This statement was followed a month later by an appeal to all “Solidarność” members not to shop in LIDL in February.

  7. February 2014 was the most abound in protest actions. Except for boycott conducted by trade union members, cash registers were blocked by activists wearing T-shirts with trade union logo and paying with coins, pickets were organized, leaflets were distributed inside LIDL stores, in front of them, at the bus and tram stops. In some cities in front of LIDL stores press briefings with the participation of regional, branch and central authorities of the union were held. In Katowice the press briefing was also attended by the President of “Solidarność” organization in LIDL, Justyna Chrapowicz who explained what the situation of workers in LIDL looks like, what the unions are demanding and why the protests were organized. 

  8. Blocking of cash registers and leaflet distribution was repeated at the beginning of March 2014. 

  9. In April 2014 “Solidarność” President, Piotr Duda, sent a letter to central LIDL management asking for a joint meeting at which situation of workers in LIDL could be discussed but the letter was left without response.

  10. In May 2014 another letter from the President was sent to Top Employers Institute in Warsaw which awarded LIDL Poland with a special “Top Employer” certificate granted to companies offering to their workers excellent working conditions and special social benefits. In his letter the President drew attention of the Institute to the real situation in the company and asked the Institute to consider taking away the reward as the reasons for its award have no bearing on reality.

  11. As all the above actions have not brought any improvement either in the situation of the workers or the situation of the dismissed trade union activists the protest will continue and take on new forms.

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