Another person has managed to get back money which was wrongly deducted from his pay after our intervention. The worker from Poznan was contracted by OTTO to work in Holland. Unfortunately, he started to get different strange deductions from his salary and in the end, when there was no more work, they deducted a 500 euro penalty for supposedly breaking the contract early.
We are happy to report that OTTO resolved this problem rather quickly. The penalty was annulled, and also different "deposits" were returned to him, totaling 440 euros. The worker is now satisfied that this money and the total of 940 euros were accounted for. Another reason why is it best to act when you notice discrepancies on your pay slip.
A bit of advice to workers in OTTO or other agencies. It really pays to keep your own records of the hours you have worked and to keep careful copies of everything the company sends you. If you haven't got a payslip, or some break down or some payment, it is best to say something about it immediately.
Try to always put this in writing. Some of the problems with OTTO were caused by the fact that people were told things orally, but have no proof, or people had missing payments, but did not have any documents. If you send in any complaints (ie lack of payslip), you should either submit it to your local supervisor and get a signed receipt, send it by registered mail, or, if by email, send a CC to someone - for example, our union.
What is especially important is to be careful of local supervisors telling you "there is no work" and "you can leave if you want". We have seen a few cases where this has meant that the worker is fined for breaking the contract, even though they understood it was possible or even that they should leave. Then they were surprised to be fined 500 euros from their last salary. The answer they get then is "but that is in your contract"... and it is true. (ZSP thinks it SHOULDN'T be in the contract, but in order to achieve this, people have got to organize themselves better to force some change.) If you are just dealing with your word against the supervisor's, you are in a difficult position. Although direct action can even solve such problems.
1. Pay attention to what you are signing. Be aware of the contractual penalty you agree to by signing the contract and, if for any reason you have to leave the job early... if you are forced to do so (ie. no work for you), or if it is suggested that you do so... beware. You can try to get the supervisor to sign that he or she agreed and that you will not be fined. Try to write a letter explaining the circumstances. For example, that they said there was no work. Inform the company of this and try to either get a confirmation that your notification was received or send a copy to our union.
2.Keep records each day of the hours you worked and where. If you are moved often from employer to employer, make sure you know the name of the town in which you worked and the employer name. Try to find out if you are working for that firm or some subcontracted firm working there.
3. If you see any discrepancies, don't just ask orally about them. Write your complaint, giving exact details. Again, keep records of your correspondence and try to get confirmations of receipt or CC things to our union.
Most importantly, do not blow off little deductions of 10 and 20 euros here and there. Over time, this can add up to hundreds of euros of your hard-earned money.