Herrschaftsfreie Basisgewerkschaft – Freund*innen der IAA

Meeting with our comrades of the Priama Akcia (PA)

In International on Oktober 29, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Unsere am nächsten gelegene Schwestergewerkschaft ist die slowakische Priama Akcia in Bratislava. Wir haben uns heuer  gegenseitig besucht und möchten Euch über diese inspirierenden und bestärkenden Zusammentreffen in folgendem gemeinsamen Artikel auf Englisch berichten.

Recently, an unpleasant thing happened to our comrades from WAS union: their organizational finances were stolen. So, together with another collective which faced the same problem, they decided to organize a benefit party on Saturday 29th July, to which they also invited us. Last time we met in Bratislava in 2014, when we raorganized an international conference entitled Problems at Work?, so we were curious how our comrades have been doing since then.

WAS is our sister organization from the International Workers’ Association. Although they are not a Section of the IWA, their status is Friends of the IWA. They are a small organization which was created quite recently (as a direct successor of anarchosyndicalist unions that existed in Vienna before 2013, though) and attempts to do activities in the workplaces as effective as possible based on their current situation and possibilities.

Recently, WAS was involved a lot in the organizing for better contracts in the social services sector, so we talked about this topic.

WAS informed about another of their positive actions on their website. It was about a problem of their member in an IT company.

We also asked about the campaign in the hospitality sector, since our last two conflicts were also in that sector. Unfortunately, since there was no response to the campaign, WAS stopped these activities.

We were also interested in the recent protests against the 12-hour working day. According to one of the comrades, the change in the law has mostly “cultural” effect, as it creates an environment where bosses can be more daring and demand longer working hours from the workers.

As for the program of the event, it began with a reading of workplace experiences (work refusal, slacking, sabotage), which the audience had a good laugh at. Afterwards, worker and antifascist songs were presented, accompanied by acoustic guitar and contrabass. Classics like Bella Ciao and Solidarity Forever couldn’t be omitted, but there were also less known songs that originate in the Austrian workers movement. We also managed to see part of the performance of young musicians from Rojava. We spent the remaining time talking with comrades from WAS.

We were happy about the meeting and we didn’t know at the time that we’d repeat it a month later. This time in Bratislava at a political street festival. A short report written by WAS follows below.

Priama akcia, IWA/AIT Slovakia

PA_WAS_Vienna

Comrades of the PA und the WAS at the benefit party in Vienna.

Refreshment of international contact with our Slovak sister union Priama akcia

On 29th August a delegation of the Wiener Arbeiter*innen Syndikat (WAS) visited the Slovak comrades of the PA. They invited us to a street festival on the occasion of the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. The 29th is a Slovak national holiday, on which they celebrate the resistance against fascism in the year 1944.

The street festival against fascism is organized by emancipatory groups in Bratislava. It took place in the city center with information desks and live acts. The PA also took part with an information desk about their union work and campaign called “Problems at work?”.

In this relaxing atmosphere we had a lot of time to continue our talks from our meeting in Vienna at the benefit party, to get to know each other better, exchange union experiences and think about further common activities, for example another meeting in order to have a more structured experience exchange. We are happy about the refreshment of our contact with our sister union PA and look forward to further common activities.

Wiener Arbeiter*innen Syndikat (WAS), Austria

WAS_PA_Bratislava_front

Members of the PA and the WAS on the street festival in Bratislava.

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