Friday, September 10, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Occupation of Hospital Cleaners Against Precarity Sep 8 2010

About 30 women spend night on roof of Municipal Office protesting their
precarious work conditions.

Yesterday, a group of hospital cleaners from the Specialized Hospital in
Dabrowa Gornicza had a meeting with their new bosses at the Municipal
Office in the presence of members of the City Council. The workers are
trying to get the city involved in the fate of the hospital staff since it
is a public hospital. Still the President of the City claims they are "not
a party" in the conflict.

The problem is that the hospital outsourced their work six years ago. The
workers became employees of a private firm called Aspen. In the last
public tender, a firm called Naprzod won and will now be their employer.

37 cleaners have refused the conditions of the new contract. They are
asking for permanent contracts with a minimum guaranteed salary. In other
words, they are also concerned that the company can cut their working

Naprzod wants to give the women 3 year contracts. Those trying to convince
the workers to accept this point out that Naprzod's contract with the
hospital, which they won in a public tender, is only three years long.

The struggle then is in fact against the outsourcing and the way people
are hired in public health care. In recent years, the majority of health
care workers have lost their labour relationship with their hospital as
part of reforms connected to the commercialization of health care in

The cleaners had no luck talking to their new employer or the city so they
decided to occupy the office. The security guards then locked the door of
the top-floor conference room where they were meeting. In this way, they
tried to get them out, by among other things, cutting their access to
toilets. But the women were able to get onto the roof, from where their
protest became visible. They spent the night on the roof and say they are
waiting for the President of the City to speak with them.

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