Poland: Unions continue actions against private sector employers

Protests against the giant retail chain Biedronka and online retailer Amazon Poland were the latest notable manifestations of the adversarial nature of industrial relations in private companies.

Trade unions in the private sector have been engaging in protests against employers, with the aim of attracting public attention and thereby putting pressure on the government to get involved in the cases of alleged breaches of the law. In late October and early November 2015, trade unions in Biedronka retail chain organised a series of events highlighting alleged anti-union practices by the company.

The campaign included dissemination of information on trade union rights and right of association, a protest in front of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw, and notification to the public prosecutor of alleged breaches of the law. The unions also held a protest against dismissals of three union members without proper consultation with trade unions in front of the outlet in Jarocin. 

In November, a protest was held in front of the Polish headquarters of Amazon. According to the trade unions, the protest was in response to the company's refusal to enter into talks on union demands, which include: respecting the law on trade unions by Amazon; initiating wage bargaining; an end to raising work efficiency standards (in particular, during the holiday season); improving working conditions; and improving the quality of meals.  

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