Opposition MPs report Amazon for preventing strike
Members of Polish opposition party The Left have informed the prosecutor about online retailer Amazon not allowing a referendum on strike action at the company's warehouses.
MPs from the party held a press conference in front of the National Prosecutor's Warsaw headquarters on Thursday to announce the filing of two notifications concerning Amazon blocking the referendum over strikes at its facilities in the central Łódzkie and southern Lower Silesia provinces.
The Left said in a press release that the dispute between Amazon and its staff concerns a pay rise of PLN 6 (EUR 1.26) per hour. Under Polish labour law, in order for a strike to be legal it has to be mandated by a worker vote.
In recent weeks, two of The Left's MPs, Adrian Zandberg and Marcelina Zawisza, have supported unionists at a warehouse in Łódź where they say Amazon has tried to block such a ballot. Another Left MP, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, has been similarly active at a warehouse in Legnica, Lower Silesia.
"We're filing two notifications with the prosecutor in the matter of a strike referendum being made impossible at Amazon warehouses in Lodz and Lower Silesia," Dziemianowicz-Bak said on Thursday. "For the strike to be legal, a very arduous path has to be trodden. One of the stages of this path is to conduct a strike referendum. The Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Workers Initiative) Trade Union wants the strike to be legal and is taking legal steps guaranteed in law. Making that referendum impossible is a crime."
She went on to say the parliamentarians were appealing to the prosecutor general, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, to take up the matter and "stop ignoring a breach of workers' rights."
A lawyer present at the press conference explained that blocking a strike referendum carried a maximum penalty of over a million zloty (EUR 210,000).