Belfast Subway protest - support sacked migrant worker

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Choccy's picture
Choccy
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Jan 15 2009 23:38
Belfast Subway protest - support sacked migrant worker

forward from B&DTUC

The next protest will be at
Subway
6-8 Great Victoria Street,
Belfast
12.30 – 1.30 pm Friday 16th January 2009

Could you give us 2 minutes of your time to sign the online petition in support of Natalia?
We need as much support as possible to expose the case and put pressure on this intransigent employer.
Sign the online Petition at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/subway1/petition.html
Please forward the petition link to your contacts.
Thank you.
Belfast & District Trades Union Council

Details of the case below:-
Subway Sack Young Pregnant Migrant Worker

Natalia Szymanska, a young Polish woman was sacked from Subway in her fifth month of pregnancy on a dubious charge of being in breach of the company’s health and safety policy.

We call on Subway to:-

- immediately reinstate the pregnant worker,
- reimburse her for loss of earnings,
- compensate her for the injury to feeling,
- treat all workers fairly.

The B&DTUC will expose and challenge the mistreatment of workers and in particular migrant workers who are amongst the most vulnerable in our society.

Subway’s Reason for Dismissing Natalia

Extract from the letter dismissing Natalia signed by the Managing Director Subway:

‘Having listened to your explanation I considered it to be unsatisfactory because, as notified to all employees and posted on the notice boards in store, the following Health and Safety regulation was blatantly disregarded:

‘The only personnel allowed to be on the premises are those members of staff that are on duty and clocked in to do the opening and closing duties. (…) No unauthorised members of staff, friends or family members are to be on the premises.’

I listened to your explanations at the hearing but you failed to provide any mitigating circumstances and I have to take into account the fact that you are employed in a position of trust and responsibility. There is no doubt that Andrzej was present in store without authorisation as this was shown on our CCTV, you therefore disregarded the Health and Safety regulations and as such we have lost trust and confidence in you in your position of Supervisor. As a consequence therefore, I have decided that your employment should be terminated.’

Extract from Natalia’s letter of Appeal:
I wish to appeal the decision to dismiss me on the following grounds:-
1- That the level of disciplinary action was overly excessive.
2- Senior management were aware that my boyfriend Andrzej, who was also an employee of G. G. Cuisine, would call into the shop to escort me home as my shift ended at 10pm and he was concerned for my safety especially given my condition. At no time did management inform Andrzej or me that he should not do this.
3- I believe that the real reason for my dismissal was due to the fact that I had recently informed G. G. Cuisine that I was pregnant.

It is the representative’s view that the appeal conducted by the Financial Director was not fair as it did not address the central point of Natalia’s case i.e. that senior management previously accepted that Natalia’s partner, who was also a Subway employee, regularly came to the shop as she was pregnant.

One month after she informed the employer that she was pregnant Natalia was sacked.

CCTV recordings and other evidence which would prove that Natalia was correct were denied to the representatives.

The employer claims that the last protest was ‘intimidating and harassing.’ We reject this totally. We are peacefully protesting against what we see as the mistreatment of a migrant worker in Subway.

The B&DTUC will expose and challenge the mistreatment of workers and in particular migrant workers who are amongst the most vulnerable in our society.

PartyBucket's picture
PartyBucket
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Jan 16 2009 15:44

Best quote of todays picket:

CP member to xConorx who was attempting to dissuade someone from going into the Subway we were picketing:

"Let **** do the talking....He's a Trades Councillor"!!!!

Choccy's picture
Choccy
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Jan 16 2009 15:59

Fuckin wankers

Deezer
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Jan 16 2009 16:46

Fer fuck sake, you know which one?

Deezer
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Jan 17 2009 01:20

No, no I meant which Trades Council member was going into subway!

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PartyBucket
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Jan 17 2009 01:15

No, Dime Bar, she was saying we should leave it to a member of the Trades Council to try to talk people out of going in.
We arent qualified, clearly.

Deezer
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Jan 17 2009 01:19

Oh, doh! Read that completely the wrong way, sorry. Shite, you wouldn't want some anarchist speaking to people going into subway now would ya? Fuckin tossers. roll eyes

leftie
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Jan 31 2009 13:31

Only trained people can hide lmfao!

akai
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Jan 31 2009 16:21

Are there any new developments in this case ?

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PartyBucket
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Feb 1 2009 20:39
laureakai wrote:
Are there any new developments in this case ?

The only contact I have is via an email list, nothing new on there since the last picket.

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Choccy
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Feb 24 2009 18:45

Another protest this Friday:

Subway
6-8 Great Victoria Street,
Belfast
12.30 – 1.30 pm Friday 27th February 2009

Choccy's picture
Choccy
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Feb 24 2009 18:47

There may be a co-ordinated day of action and the campaign could be asking for support in the form of sympathy pickets of as many Subway outlets as possible. If anyone/any group is interested pm me and I'll forward details should I hear them.

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Choccy
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Feb 25 2009 22:53

Can anyone here who's interested in doing pickets on a proposed co-ordinated day of action drop me or any of the Organise! ones a pm with you email?
Cheers smile

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Choccy
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Feb 27 2009 23:48

excuse me?

Jason Cortez
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Mar 5 2009 09:46

South London SolFed are up for doing informational pickets

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Choccy
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Mar 5 2009 12:06

Good stuff Jason smile

Admin edit - off topic posturing not allowed.

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PartyBucket
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Mar 13 2009 17:50

The 'Day Of Action' is supposed to be Saturday 4th April, if anyone is interested in doing something PM one of us Organise! types.

Jason Cortez
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Mar 13 2009 18:13

Cool I will get the word out.

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Choccy
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Mar 13 2009 18:41
Choccy wrote:
Good stuff Jason smile

Admin edit - off topic posturing not allowed.

Excuse me?
What off-topic posturing did I do?

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 13 2009 18:47

SLSF + A&S are on this...will spread the word.

posi
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Mar 13 2009 19:01

yo. I am trying to coordinate leaflettings of as many Subways as possible in London on the day of action, having been asked by someone from B&D TC to spread the word. Of course, no one doing this is obliged to contact me, but it would be good if we could avoid duplication (of central London ones, for instance), and have some sort of collective impression of what we've achieved. So anyone who is up for it and wants to drop me a PM, that'd be wicked. I'm hoping that as many groups/branches as possible will adopt a Subway for the day...

Bobby
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Mar 14 2009 01:20

This day of action will be raised at the next wsm branch meetings across Ireland. Hopefully, we will be able to help out in some way, but over the next couple of weeks there will be a heavy workload especially with the national strike on the 30th I think.

Hopefully, some of us will be able to make the pickets in Belfast too.

akai
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Mar 14 2009 10:07

There's only a couple of Subways here and we don't know if a picket at a Subway makes sense since it's a franchise. However we want to do something, at very least we can do informational work.

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PartyBucket
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Mar 14 2009 12:39
akai wrote:
There's only a couple of Subways here and we don't know if a picket at a Subway makes sense since it's a franchise.

Most of the Subways getting picketed on that date, even in Belfast will be owned by different franchise holders than the one who sacked the pregnant staff member. Maybe a long shot, but hopefully other franchise holders will be sufficiently pissed off about the prospect of regular pickets at their branches that theyll put some pressure on the employer who the dispute is with to come to a settlement.

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Choccy
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Mar 19 2009 13:56

The next protest will be at

Subway
6-8 Great Victoria Street,
Belfast
12.30 – 1.30 pm Friday March 19th 2009

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Choccy
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Mar 20 2009 14:42

A decent crowd at today's picket.
We were informed that the owner has used content of this thread in support of a high court injunction against a Trades Council member who he's accusing of harrassment - the accusation is completely baseless and this gives the solidarity action an added layer of importance.

The content is of course baseless and nothing on this thread has pertained to anything remotely approaching intimidation of the Subway franchise owner. Given that it is being monitored, it's worth continuing the constructive/informative nature of the majority of posts aside form some banter and incoherent trolling.