The eight women workers who were fired or forced to resign in connection with sexual harassment by a supervisor are still being victimized at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay plant near Warsaw
Although the perpetrator of the alleged crimes remains imprisoned, the victims are still without jobs or financial income from PepsiCo. As the legal cases continue at a slow pace, there have been some new developments:
The IUF and Solidarnosc organized a fact-finding visit including journalists from Nordic unions on 22-23 June 2005, the primary purpose of which was to obtain direct reports from the women concerned. The delegation was able to confirm that the victims were holding firm. However according to the Polish union representatives, the cases can take up to three years in the labour court. In the meantime, the women have difficulty in taking on other full time, fixed employment. As a result, the victims remain under serious financial and psychological stress.
On 22 June the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU) adopted a resolution condemning PepsiCo's handling of the situation and supporting the efforts of the food sector secretariat of Solidarnosc to reinstate the victims.
PepsiCo is providing professional legal assistance to the accused supervisor and manager, while continuing to ignore the plight of the victims. While the company professes to enforce policies against sexual harassment, the delegation confirmed that none of the workers, or their union representatives, had ever seen PepsiCo's code of conduct nor heard of their written policies on sexual harassment.
The IUF has again written to PepsiCo, demanding that the company promptly negotiate with the union to find a settlement acceptable to the victims.