Castorama/Poland dismissed 10 trade union activists. NSZZ “Solidarnosc” Commerce and UNI Commerce are fighting back for the re-instatement of dismissed workers and respect for trade union rights.
Castorama – owned by British multinational Kingfisher – has operated in Poland since 1997. The company has 80 stores in 60 Polish cities and employs around 12,000 workers.
An affiliate of UNI Commerce, NSZZ “Solidarnosc” Commerce, has been helping Castorama/Poland workers organize – despite the anti-union attitude of the employer. The company has intensified its union-busting activities and recently dismissed 10 trade union activists, including Wojciech Kasprzyk, the union leader there.
The company tried to justify dismissals on the ground of “carrying out activities to the detriment of the company” and “damaging the employer’s image.” However, they were simply using internet platforms and social media to help workers organize around their issues.
Dismissal of 10 trade union activists was the last straw, and now workers are fighting back!
With the help of the union, necessary legal action has been taken for re-instatement of the dismissed workers. In addition, public actions such as pickets and leafleting are taking place right outside Castorama markets in Poland, with participation from hundreds of Solidarnosc members.
Mathias Bolton, Head of UNI Commerce, sent a letter to Mr. Thierry Garnier, the CEO of Kingfisher and local management of Castorama/Poland. Underlying that UNI Commerce stands in solidarity with Solidarnosc and Castorama workers, Bolton said “We expect that you will take the necessary actions in order to ensure that Castorama/Poland respects union rights, engages in constructive dialogue with the union, and re-instates employees dismissed for their union activities” in his letter.
UNI Commerce will launch an international campaign to raise solidarity with Castorama workers in Poland.
Castorama is a brand of Kingfisher PLC which is a British multinational home improvement company with over 1,300 stores and 78,000 workers in 10 countries across Europe, Russia and Turkey. Besides Castorama; Kingfisher owns B&Q, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix and Koctas brands as well. Headquartered in London (UK), Kingfisher is the largest home improvement retailer in Europe and the third largest one in the world in this segment of commerce sector.