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(en) Poland, WORKERS' INITIATIVE: Social Congress of Women. For higher wages and lower rents [machine translation]

Date Fri, 2 Mar 2018 08:58:07 +0200

On March 3, we organize the Social Congress of Women - employees, tenants, mothers, regardless of place of residence or age. We want to talk about common experiences and needs. About how to defend ourselves against a job that changes our life into a nightmare, before a high price, which forces us to work even harder, against politicians and bosses who ignore our needs. ---- We demand wage increases and stable employment, regardless of whether we work in a factory, cultural institution, crèche or in a supermarket. We demand that we pay for work, which we must do for free in our own households. We demand a shorter working day, which means more free time for us and our relatives. The end of eviction and universal access to housing, in which we will not freeze in winter. Development of public care institutions for children and the elderly. Free public transport and unlimited access to medical care.

We have enough of being a cheap workforce. We are fed up with the function of free social facilities as a result of introducing further cuts and restructuring. We will not humbly accept further burdens on the pretext of serving the country, business or family. If we say a job in factories, hospitals, cultural and care institutions, if we stop providing meals and care for half the time, the whole economy will be in place. We want to talk about the practical meaning of this fact. About how to counteract everyday exploitation. We must inspire each other to act and gain strength to fight for a decent life for everyone, not just for the rich.

For two years, liberals who have lost power try to exploit the dissatisfaction of women in order to gain public support again. The vote on the 'Let's Save Women' project has emphatically confirmed how much the liberal opposition is worth. We do not need politicians and politicians. The slogan "power is a woman" is false. Has our situation changed since more women appeared in parliament? Are our wages higher, when the managers and not the managers supervise our work? Which is the cause of low wages of women, cuts in social security, the ban on abortion - the lack of women in power or the economic system that only works by maintaining social inequalities. Do people who have control over institutions of power, which for centuries have restricted the freedom of women, can free us and lead to the elimination of social inequalities?

Initiative groups:

Nationwide Trade Union Workers' Initiative.
Wielkopolska Association of Tenants
Warsaw Association of Tenants


11: 00-11: 10 Welcome

11: 10-13: 00 First part - who we are, how we operate, what we expect

We are not representatives of business or politics. We do not want to act as experts, leaders or businesswomen. We operate in trade unions, tenants' associations and other groups fighting against exploitation, poverty and the lack of influence on the reality that surrounds us. The Congress is to be an open space that enables taking the floor and exchanging experiences regardless of the social position of the people participating in it. Instead of a typical panel, we suggest an open discussion about the problems we face in our work places and places of residence. We want to discuss what organizational obstacles we encounter in our daily activities and what we must fight for.

13: 00-13: 30 Break

13: 30-15: 00 Part II - our plans, how to implement them, discussion on the current forms of protest.

In the second part of the meeting, we will talk about how to develop mobilizations for higher wages or cheap housing. We will reflect on what postulates are the most important for us and how to implement them. We will also discuss our attitude to the mobilization of liberal environments or local government elections. Based on what priorities, principles and ideas build social movements, what strategies are right for now and for tomorrow.

15: 00-15: 15 Break

15: 15-16: 00 Summary and presentation of the list of postulates

During the discussion, the following speakers will take part:

* Renata Stolarska (Employee Initiative at the Theater of the Eighth Day)
* Justyna Kurzawska, Agnieszka Zakrzewska-Matuszak, Katarzyna Korcz (Employee Initiative at Public Nurses)
* Renata Bernas, Kornelia Piotrowska, Karolina Skrzypczak (Wielkopolska Tenant Association)
* Dorota Grobelna, Sylwia Czubala (employees of the cultural sector)
* Katarzyna Górna (Commission of Art Workers)
* Representative of the Warsaw Association of Tenants
* Representative of the Employee Initiative at the Zamek Cultural Center
* Representative of the Employee Initiative at Amazon Poland

We invite everyone to participate actively in the discussion. Below we have prepared auxiliary questions on which issues we want to focus on.

I part

1. Where do you work / live / belong to a group (trade union, association, informal group, etc.)?

2. Are all your needs and your loved ones assured? What problems do you encounter in the place of work, residence or other? (high rents, lack of heating, long working hours and too heavy load on household duties, problems with commuting, problem of reconciliation of private life and work, low wages, lack of care infrastructure for children and disabled and elderly people, lack of adequate social security, high costs , the use and lack of tolerance towards trans people or nationalities, etc.)?

3. What actions you have taken up to now and what are you taking now, how do you assess them (through trade union, pressure on the city, negotiations, entering into a collective dispute, strike threats, demonstrations and pickets, self-cut of rents, blockage of evictions, lawsuits, regular development materials on a given topic, pressure to change legal regulations, etc.)?

Part II

4. What specific demands do you have, what they result from and how you argue about their legitimacy (higher wages, lower rents, pay for homework, reduced working time, change of individual legal regulations, eg regarding dismissal from work due to childcare , more places in nurseries and kindergartens, development of training canteens and after-school activities, longer holidays, development of communal housing, connection of municipal housing to heating, reduction of energy charges, etc.)

5. What organizational obstacles do you face when taking action for your demands? (lack of fresh ideas and new tools, ignorance of authorities, prolonging discussions and negotiations by authorities / offices / bosses, repression, lack of time, long working hours, divisions among residents and among employees, prolonged court trials, unfavorable legal regulations, fatigue and burnout, lack of interaction and contact with other groups, and low interest and support from other environments, etc.)?

6. how to improve your activities? can the coalition of various groups (including employees and tenants) who are struggling to improve the quality of our lives help in their development?

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