Wroclaw: Protest during OTTO Cup

ZSP protested the practices of OTTO Workforce during an event OTTO sponsored called "OTTO Cup" which was held in the central square of the city. Leaflets were handed out warning of some of OTTO's actions against workers and what can be done to fight back. In addition, there was some criticism of the spectacle of the OTTO Cup. This was an international football competition of homeless people and both the city of Wroclaw and this company try to portray themselves as being charitable and helping homeless people. At the same time the city pretends it is interested in helping the homeless, it is creating policies that threaten to force many more people into homelessness. We mentioned the experience of the tenants' organization founded in Wroclaw by our comrades and their neighbours. OTTO, on the other hand, was already involved in an international scandal about its part in a scheme to help the Dutch government get rid of undesirable Polish immigrants by bringing them to Wroclaw, where they would be housed in a homeless shelter and resocialized. The city of Wroclaw did not agree to this and many Poles were furious with the ways the Dutch government were trying to think up to deport people from their country.

OTTO has also been under fire lately in Holland after more and more media revealed many more cases of abuse by the agency. Some NGOs have called for a labour inspection and OTTO criticized journalists and anarchists on their web pages for creating a supposedly distorted image of their nice company. They also claimed that the labour inspector is not interested in investigating it, which has also caused some reaction, with some questioning whether the labour inspection is really independent and does its job.
On the other hand, we have some reports from Holland that, due to the considerable pressure now on OTTO, they have started to clean up their act in some areas. We haven't confirmed these reports but we will try to see if it is true.

There were not many people at the OTTO Cup, perhaps due to the terrible weather. Security guards quickly acted to remove ZSP activists from the stands, one also threatening physical violence. One of the managers from the company appeared to talk to us. We discussed the latest cases of workers contracted to work in Wroclaw who did not receive their full salary. The manager claimed that the workers were doing piece work and therefore were not paid by the hour - however their contracts clearly say something different. We are demanding the difference be paid immediately and trying to encourage the others to organize before it is too late and they find they received just a portion of their salaries.

We said we will continue with daily pickets at OTTO.

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