Action against OTTO employment agency met with police action

Action against OTTO employment agency met with police action

A picket against Dutch employment agency OTTO Workforce organized by the Vrije Bond and ZSP in Venrey, where the headquarters of OTTO is began this morning. From the beginning it was met with to the police action.

Tour bus of activists was detained at a place near the gate of the company. All who appeared in the doorway of the bus were arrested (seven people). The rest, about twenty people who managed to escape through a window, started a picket at the gate of OTTO. The banners included signs as "Stop the exploitation" and the syndicalists were shouting "International solidarity."

After a moment appeared a branch of the police which began again to stop people. Activists didn't manage to block the police car and syndicalists were taken to an unknown destination. Then a representative of the OTTO agency came out and said two persons are allowed to meet with the company. The crowd put a condition that detainees are released if talks are to begin, because we do not agree with the discussions under the pressure of the police. Activists were not released, so the negotiations are not started. Syndicalists said they would return and then a meeting will be held on their own terms rather than those of the police and OTTO.

Situation at the gate at the time of this writing remains a deadlock. Police is not releasing the bus and no one knows they are up to.

More about the campaign against cheating of OTTO workers at: http://otto.zsp.net.pl

See http://cia.bzzz.net/holandia_akcja_vrije_bond_i_zsp_przeciwko_otto_policja_zatrzymuje_zwiazkowcow and http://indymedia.nl/nl/2011/03/74806.shtml for photos

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MT
Mar 21 2011 08:51

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MT
Mar 21 2011 08:31

Timeline from the Dutch indymedia website:

7:55 On arrival at the headquarters of Otto in Venray the police showed up at the place. Otto deployed more security as well.

8:00 There is now a picket for Otto headquarters. There are two people in chains beaten.

8:15 The cop wants everyone identifies themselves, after refusing the massive copper began arresting the entire group.

8:45 There were still protesters in the area and the police has still not managed to arrest these people.

MT
Mar 21 2011 08:53

9:30 First people have already been released, others are kept for identification.

MT
Mar 21 2011 09:52

10:25 There are more people released in Venray.

MT
Mar 21 2011 11:30

12:12 Still some detainees down. Many released. Timeline stop to this. If everyone released another addition.

akai
Mar 21 2011 12:19

Hi. People are being released with fines now. This is the English version of press release about the action:

Press Release March 21

Today Polish OTTO Workforce workers, together with the AGA/Vrije Bond and members of the anarchosyndicalist union ZSP from Poland did an action at the headquarters of OTTO Workforce in Venray against inhuman work and living conditions. The police followed the activists from the meeting point so they could wait for them at the OTTO headquarters. The bus was stopped and several people were arrested, the rest managing to escape and get to the headquarters. There the police and OTTO security also continued their harrassment of the activists, trying to arrest the rest. Because of this, the activists couldn't express their demands to the boss of OTTO. The majority of the protestors were detained and a few who weren't were fined by police.

These last months there have been picketlines and other actions at offices and houses of workers in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Holland. So far there have been a couple of small victories for workers who finally received their pay.

"Now one of the two workers in the campaign got back their withheld payment and we will continue our actions. We want that our other comrade gets his money and all his fines will be lifted!!! Also we want our other demands to be met" says Willem K. of the Vrije Bond.

Activists demand that OTTO Workforce stops its system of punishments and fines for its workers. Oral and contractual promises should be lived up to. OTTO workers should get better housing and lower rent. Workers should not pay for their travel expenses and salaries should be paid ON TIME. Research from the ZSP and the AGA/Vrije Bond, based on informtion gathered from workers, shows that OTTO Workforce uses dishonest methods to intimidate and exploit its workers in an extreme way.

The ZSP in Poland and the AGA/Vrije Bond in Holland started a campaign together to first of all support their Polish friends and second, to call a stop to these malpractices. PA from Slovakia also is part of the campaign.

The approach of the company and police have made activists more determined. "OTTO shouldn't think that the actions are over now. We will continue until all our demands are granted. Hopefully thise first victories of the payment of the witheld salaries will inspire other workers to organize themselves too. And it will force OTTO Workforce to start taking their workers serious" says Willem.

Voor een gelijke en solidaire wereld voor iedereen!

Vrije Bond, anarchistische zelforganisatie

robot
Mar 22 2011 04:54

Translation of the press release into German at the FAU-IWA website

akai
Mar 22 2011 14:22

Thank you. Of course such repression won't stop us and even yesterday people decided to go back to OTTO. A few people, including a cheated worker, managed to meet with the CEO of the company, who denies that there is a fine system, etc. etc. So the protests will continue...

People can write messages to the CEO through his vanity webpage, here:
http://www.frankvangool.nl/contact.html

akai
Mar 25 2011 11:18

An update: we were supposed to meet with OTTO today in Poland but yesterday the CEO decided to meet with people in Holland. 3 workers received payments, one got everything he was owed. They promised to improve conditions. We will meet here on Monday and ZSP will organize some informational events in cities where workers are recruited.

Thanks of course to people who sent faxes or mails and of course to our comrades in Holland who kick ass!

robot
Apr 1 2011 05:11

FAU-IWA pickets OTTO in the Rhein / Main area

On march 31, 2011 OLYMPIA –a German subsidiary company of OTTO Workforce– got picketed by FAU locals from the Rhein / Main area, where OLYMPIA has two offices at Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. During the protests in support of Polish workers that have been cheated by OTTO Workforce, leaflets were distributed to customers and passers-by.

Steven.
Apr 2 2011 10:01

Well done guys!

Is there anyone else who hasn't yet been paid?

MT
Apr 3 2011 12:17

the info provided by akai above is still actual concerning who got paid. that means 3 haven't been paid fully so far. plus there are some new contacts with workers who might join the campaign.