On December the 15th, the chairperson of the OZZ IP (Workers' Initiative Union) workplace section in the Polski Theatre in Wrocław [website], Tomasz Lulek received 11 notifications on "an intention to terminate long term work contracts with the employees".
All of them concerned members of our workplace section, actors: Anna Ilczuk, Marta Zięba, Andrzej Kłak, Michał Opaliński; stage-manager Łukasz Twardowski; the literature department workers: Nina Karniej, Kasia Majewska, Alicja Szumańska; entire computer-graphic department: Natalia Kabanow, Michał Matoszko, Piotr Sarama. In three of the cases, the official reason is the elimination of the work positions. The remaining eight are dismissal on disciplinary grounds. The stated explanations are, among others: critique of the head of the Theatre, lost confidence in the worker, critical Facebook entries, participating in demonstrations in defence of the Theatre, taping mouths during ovation etc.
Planned dismissal occur during ongoing collective dispute procedure and harsh conflict between the workers and new director – Cezary Morawski. Morawski was designed as a new director of the theater in august 2015 and announced changes both in organisation of the workplace and in the artistic programme (with clear intention to move it towards more traditional and “patriotic” theater). In September OZZ IP workplace section in Polski Theater opened the collective dispute procedure demanding wages’ increase and employment guarantees. The demands were refused by the new director and followed by anti-union repressions.
OZZ IP workplace section in theater comments the dismissal in the statement: “We treat it as an attack on our Union and its Workplace Section as well as impeding of union activities during collective dispute with the employer. We have announced a strike alert and we ask to support our protest in all possible ways including sending the e-mails of protest to the head of the Theatre and to Lower Silesian Marshal's Office, in particular to the vice-Marshal Tedeusz Samborski.
We call for all the branches of our Union as well as sisterly Unions and social organisations to send the letters of protest to the head of the Theatre and to the Marshal of the Lower Silesian Voivodship. Specimen of the letter and contact information can be found below.”
To: Mr. Cezary Przybylski, Marshall of the Lower Silesian Voivodship
Mr. Cezary Morawski, Director of the Polski Theatre in Wrocław
A statement of protest against dismissals in the Polski Theatre in Wrocław
We protest against dismissal of the employees Polski Theatre in Wrocław, members and activists of the Workers' Initiative Union. It is an act of violation of civic, workers' and union rights, especially in the face of an ongoing collective bargaining in the Theatre. Decission about firing is motivated with revenge on the workers who protested against destruction of the Theatre in its current shape. We do not approve of that and appeal to the Voivodship Marshal to undertake effective activities in that matter.