Actions against Bad Working Conditions and Anti-Union Repression at Black Red White

This week, actions started taking place at Black Red White furniture salons around Poland. We have heard that persons unknown have been postering on and around shops in different cities in Poland, from Warsaw to Rzeszów to Białystok. A couple of pickets also took place on the weekend.

Last week, ZSP announced it would start national actions against the firm. BRW Sofa, entirely owned by Black Red White, was named the Worst Employer of the Year in our annual contest and it certainly lived up to its name by firing a unionist for speaking out. Jarek Prz. from the Furniture Makers' Union wrote about one incident where the company violated workers' rights and the Labor Code in a newspaper after we told about the working conditions there and the paper wanted more information. For the article, Jarek was fired for disciplinary reasons.

Workers in the firm like Jarek take home less than 300 euros a month, so they don't have much of a security net when fired. Also firms take retaliation against unionists in other ways, especially if they need to find a job in a small city. To make matters worse, Jarek's small daughter wound up in the hospital. People began to gather money in solidarity.

In the meanwhile, BRW began to react to our upcoming actions, informing security around the country. Comrades in Wroclaw were able to get into a BRW shop anyway and give out leaflets to all clients and workers, who were supportive. BRW decided to try to avoid the protests by offering a settlement to Jarek. Given his now tragic situation, he took the settlement. Probably the firm was hoping that giving money would stop any protests against them - but they are wrong.

In Warsaw the company had a lot of security hired and some guy who a woman from the management presented as a "journalist" who was busy taking people's photos. At least a dozen people were there to block us from going into Black Red White - but that won't stop us from visiting them in the future and certainly did not stop us from picketing a little further away from the entrance, despite the security.
We note that Black Red White is owned by a billionaire, Tadeusz Chmiel, one of the richest men in Poland, but pays its workers miserable salaries. In BRW Sofa, which is wholly owned by BRW, all sorts of violations of the Labor Code occur. For speaking out, the company fired workers in Belarus a couple of years ago, and now fired Jarek. They came him money to try to hush up the matter and keep him out of the workplace, but they cannot buy our silence or intimidate us. We will continue to inform the public about the miserable salaries given to the people who make the furniture of this highly profitable company.
Tadeusz Chmiel, go to hell! We are not slaves to make you billions!
Boycott Repression of Workers!

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