One new campaign, one coming up, and three closed — it’s been a busy week!
Yesterday we launched a new campaign in support of the workers trying to form a union at Wizz Air, at the request of the European Transport Workers’ Federation and the European Trade Union Confederation.
Soon, we will be launching a campaign in support of striking Georgian railway workers.
Today we’re closing the Andy Hall campaign which has resulted in a partial victory. Here’s what the campaign sponsor, Owen Tudor of the British Trades Union Congress, has to say:
The campaign helped keep his case in the public eye and on the diplomatic agenda. Thanks to the support and high profile Andy has got, the EU embassies in Thailand have begun to press the Thai government to take steps to stop their courts being used to harass human rights defenders like Andy. And together with other campaigns run on other websites resulted in the Judge throwing out the first case against him and delaying the second case for several weeks. However, that case hasn’t been stopped, and there are other cases that will start soon, so the campaign will continue in other ways. So we may be back….
Last week we closed two campaigns.
The first, opposing ‘social dumping’ by IKEA in Belgium and the Netherlands, got 10,672 supporters, making it one of our largest campaigns. But we don’t know yet what the effect was, as the union hasn’t gotten back to us.
The second protested union busting at Poland’s LOT airlines. It got 8,586 supporters and we have a report from Kemal Ulker at the International Transport Workers Federation on its effect on the ground — the bottom line is that we’ve not yet won this dispute:
On 25 July 2014, the vice-president of the ZZPP, Andrzej Je?ewski was dismissed by LOT Polish Airlines.
LOT has a bad record of similar anti-union practices. Over the last five years, the airline dismissed eight trade union leaders.
The ETF Civil Aviation Secretary tried to talk the CEO of the airline with no avail.
On 4 August 2014, the ITF and ETF section secretaries sent a joint letter to the CEO, demanding the reinstatement of the dismissed union leader.
On 20 August 2014, in partnership with the LabourStart, the ITF and ETF launched the protest letter campaign.
On 21 August 2014, the ITF and ETF general secretaries set a joint letter to the President of Poland.
On 25 August 2014, the ETF sent a letter to the chief executive of the Association of European Airlines (AEA), Athar Husain Khan, to ask him to intervene with the management of LOT to establish good and fair industrial relations with the trade unions.
Similar letters have been sent to 47 European Parliament members, reminding them of the role of trade unions in regaining freedom and sovereignty, as well as the country’s obligations as signatory of ILO conventions, and asking them intervene with the Polish government to resolve the issue: http://www.itfglobal.org/news-online/index.cfm/newsdetail/10835
On 1 September 2014, the ZZPP received a response from Grazyna Wereszczynska, Director of Citizen Letters and Opinions Office, informing us on behalf of Mr Komorowski that our letter had been referred to the Ministry of State Treasury.
On 26 September 2014, we received a response from the CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, refusing to comment on the dismissal of Brother Je?ewski as there is an ongoing legal proceeding. However, in his response the CEO emphasised that Je?ewski’s dismissal was “strictly on the basis of the Polish Labour Code”.
On 9 October 2014, the ITF and ETF section secretaries sent a joint letter to the Minister of Treasury of Poland.
The Minister of Treasury of Poland responded saying they don’t deal with labour disputes and repeating LOT’s arguments regarding why Andrzej was dismissed.