Herrschaftsfreie Basisgewerkschaft – Österreichische Sektion der IAA

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Gagarin FAQ

In Antirassismus, ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, Arbeitsrecht, Arbeitszeit, English, Feminismus, Gastronomie on 9. Mai 2022 at 23:06

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

As we promised in our last article, we would like to give an answer to the most important questions and concerns that have been arising the last weeks. Here you go!

  1. Why are you asking for compensation?

A lot of people were supportive that we publicly questioned the working conditions in Gagarin, but    more reluctant about the compensation. We want to stress that we are not interested in a statement war but in proper material change in favour of the life of our union members and all workers. Additionally, our union members’ efforts of two years working there and starting an internal process that changed the situation a bit, but did not manage to go to the root of the problem – the exploitation – convinced us even more that further steps are needed in this case. Besides, the amount we are asking for our comrade may seem large to some. However, it is in the ridiculous range of 167 euros divided to the months she was working there. This is the absolute minimum, payed holidays, 13. + 14. payment, sickleave. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Working place struggle at Café Gagarin

In aktuelle Termine, Antirassismus, ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, English, Feminismus, Gastronomie on 9. Mai 2022 at 03:07

dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

Protest at the Gagarin Street Festival

21st of May, 5 – 8 pm
Garnisongasse 24, 1090 Vienna

Support the fight against exploitative structures at Café Gagarin!

In recent years, Café Gagarin, the supposedly „anti-authoritarian“, „collectively run“ café, has been a place of intense internal struggles. Questions of precarious working conditions have been discussed unsuccessfully for a long time. Although Café Gagarin is commonly believed to be run by a collective of equal workers, in reality there has been a division between the „collective“ and the „springer:innen“. The members of the „collective“ take on more responsibility, but also have more privileges, power and status. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the „collective“ at this point was consisted of white Germans and Austrians, while the „springer:innen“ were mainly migrants.

When they tried to challenge the status quo, the workers repeatedly encountered racist, authoritarian and chauvinist reactions. The demand to restructure the place was tolerated first, but later it was followed by violent and aggressive reactions. Our union member was shouted at and was publicly humiliated by male members of the „collective“. Her demands to make them take responsibility for that were ignored, and the collective tried to reframe the situation as an individual conflict with a hysteric woman. Finally, she decided to quit.

It is clear for us: the rigid power structures made it impossible to question the hierarchies and the bad working conditions, in which exploitation and conflicting class interests are shamelessly interwoven with racist and sexist structures and their individual reproduction.

The problem with labour rights not being respected is not that laws are disregarded, but that „left places“ undermine even the minimum standards of the state, creating widespread acceptance for exploitation in all labour relations. Under the pretext of „good cause“ nobody should push the little boundaries of exploitation and simply negate paid holidays, 13th and 14th salary, sickleave, and so on.

We are aware that a company that is interested in „solidarity economy” is of a different calibre than an ordinary capitalist company. Unfortunately, in the case of Gagarin, the structures that developed over the years have led to extreme situations of exploitation, and a solution does not seem to be in sight. The social trap of „external constraints“ seems to have replaced any ideals. And worse, we have the impression that there is no class consciousness at all, and also zero knowledge and therefore no consciousness of the least labour rights.

We therefore demand a one-time compensation of less than 20% of the amount our union member would have earned in the last 2.5 years if the labour law minimum standards had been respected. This amount is made up of the lost income accumulated over the years through unlawfully reduced working hours, unpaid tips, unpaid sick leave, unpaid vacation, unpaid 13th and 14th salary, and so on.

For us as a union, the interests of wage workers – in this case, the irretrievably lost insurance years, the threat of old-age poverty, the multiple burden as a migrant worker, etc. – are central on the road to a liberated society.

So far, unfortunately, there has been no serious reaction from Gagarin to our offer to settle the matter amicably and without publicity, just a vague suggestion to have a talk with payroll accounting in mid-June. So we had no choice but to make the struggle public and bring it to the Gagarin Street Festival.

And to avoid any misunderstandings right from the start this is not about individual villains! It is about an alternative enterprise reproducing structures that it actually once stood against. Everyone in the „collective“ has to face the question of how it got this far and, above all, how the situation can be changed without continuing to rely on the exploitation of workers, mainly those who are affected by racism and sexism, and without undermining the minimum legal standards by up to 200%.

We want to show clearly: we are not afraid to confront bosses and fight against all forms of exploitation, even if they are painted over with red and black colours!

We invite you to join our demonstration in front of Café Gagarin on 21 May from 5pm! The address is: Garnisongasse 24. You can find us at the black-red flags!

No more sexism, no more racism, no more exploitation!
For the liberation of all workers!

Leaflet with the call for a rally for May 21, 2022

Article published May 19, 2022 on wiensyndikat.wordpress.com. Copying with source reference possible.

Workers‘ struggle at the Secession concluded

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, English, Kunst/ Kultur on 10. März 2022 at 23:08

dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

Considerable reformist improvements achieved, revolution still has to wait

With a mixture of happiness and sadness, we discontinue all trade union struggle measures against the Secession for the time being. On the one hand, the Secession still owes its workers thousands of euros, but on the other hand, thousands of euros have been successfully fought for and serious structural changes in the museum have been set in motion.

Since shortly before Christmas, it has been quieter around the industrial action at the Secession. On the one hand this was due to the stressful pre-Christmas period and the following holidays, on the other hand it was due to the incredible delay and stress tactics of the Secession itself. What happened? We remember: Secession vaguely promised to recalculate and pay out all outstanding claims. These calculations were not done for months, until on 22 December letters with calculations and „offers“ arrived at the struggling workers. However, those affected were then supposed to accept them within a few days and to accept the – again false – „offers“ in written form. What a farce that a (left) liberal institution pretends that one could confirm back pay, which continues to be below the collective agreement requirements, i.e. that one would have to renounce or even waive claims in order to get paid, …

From that point on, most of the workers did not want to be subjected to the pressure by the Secession. The mixture of non-communication from the management (e.g. zero information in the last lockdown), multiple wrong calculations, refusal for years to even consider the claims, perfidious pressure from the new board, also via external university and private channels, and the refusal to communicate at all with the WAS was for some out of proportion to the still outstanding salary components. In addition, the succès d’estimes had already been quite striking. A justified early resignation was accepted. In the meantime, all low-paid workers received back pay, in some cases amounting to almost six months‘ salary. The permanent contacts in free time, i.e. the on-call treatments, were actually stopped. All ten or so full-time employees in the department confirmed the problem areas we had raised at an internal company jour-fix, and the management is embarking on serious structural reforms.

After the first payments were made to everyone, haggling over the amount was not central to the people concerned, and no one wants to go to the labour court because of the still missing 1000 to 2000 euros per person (besides, there are still more than two years to go). As WAS we would have considered it important not to let bosses get away with simply not paying out salary components or calculating them incorrectly again, but the colleagues who work there naturally have the final say in this matter. In addition, out of a total of eight low-paid workers in the company, four are no longer there and simply want to have their peace.

Therefore, the situation now is that the Secession must continue to put up with public reports that it never calculated the salaries correctly and continues to withhold money from its workers. Thousands of euros are still missing. Among them – apart from a number of inconsistencies that may still have to be checked – in any case, as we now know for sure, all Sunday bonuses and all pro rata 13th and 14th salaries for the overtime and extra hours worked in the last five years. The Secession presumably even believes that its current calculations are correct, … There seems to be no awareness of the fact that the employees have now been running behind their full salaries for year and day. So much for the „sadness“.

Opening rally on 19.11.2021 in front of the Vienna Secession.
Photograph: Wiener ArbeiterInnen-Syndikat

On the positive side, as a small grassroots union we really fought vigorously against an institution like the Vienna Secession and very quickly brought about very real changes. We quickly got the museum into trouble because it had been violating a lot of labour laws for years. It was not for nothing that the management wished that „the employees would rather have organised themselves in the ÖGB (Austrian Trade Union Federation)“, … In this respect we can only repeat that a good union is known to be the one your boss doesn’t like. The active solidarity of women artists exhibiting there is also remarkable and reveals the precarious reality for the majority of artists, apart from the high society, which is big in business.

It is also very positive that we as a whole WAS would not have been at the end of our powers and abilities by a long shot. On the contrary, we are highly motivated and could have shown great staying power in this matter. Moreover, it has been proved once again that struggles are best fought when workers organise together before any problems arise. In such exceptional situations like labour disputes, it is much more exhausting to start building structures and working out basics like „free agreements“, „hierarchy-free decision-making“ or „common goals“ than to be prepared!

Financially, anyway, this labour dispute has brought a very real improvement for the marginal workers. And there is still the small possibility that those responsible at the Secession will once again deign to produce a correct final payroll for all the marginal workers and also transfer the missing few thousand euros – and that without constantly contacting their (former) employees, annoying them, putting them under pressure or generally playing dumb as far as payroll accounting is concerned. By the way, another positive collateral benefit, quasi: all part-time and full-time employees will supposedly have their salaries recalculated as well and will participate without having been actively involved. The Secession itself is of course „not amused“ about such five-digit euro amounts and would have preferred – have we actually mentioned this already – to organise its employees in the ÖGB 😉 .

In any case, we can count the last six months as an extraordinarily good and important testing, training and refinement of our ways of acting and organising. This will strengthen us massively for the coming disputes with bosses who believe that they do not have to comply with labour rights.

Our thanks go to all those who have supported us in this struggle, both locally and internationally, and for whom class solidarity is an honest concern!

Portal labour dispute Secession

Article published on 19.3.2022 on wiensyndikat.wordpress.com. Copying with source reference possible.

Continued labor dispute in the Secession! A short overview

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, English, Kunst/ Kultur on 12. Dezember 2021 at 22:45

dieser Artikel auf Deutsch/ lee este artículo en castellano

The affected marginally employed workers of the Secession continue to fight for compliance with labour law at their place of work. The management has already agreed to put some of the points to practice, but has not yet agreed with all the points. Your practical solidarity is therefore still necessary. Here is a short and sweet overview of what has happened so far.

Goals of the marginally empoyed workers

1. Minimum labour standards

Hourly billing during the pandemic:

  1. reimbursement of illegally deducted plus hours during the “Lockdowns”
  2. reimbursement of illegally cancelled holidays during the “Lockdowns”
  3. withdrawal of illegally generated minus hours, even outside the “Lockdowns”
  4. calculate halved working days during the exit restriction as whole days and not as hours

Communication:

  1. no communication outside working hours
  2. vacations in which the workers were contacted must be credited back
  3. no unpaid stand-by duty
  4. remuneration of previous stand-by duty with 800 Euro flat rate per person

Overtime:

  1. no extra work, payment of timecredit and overtime with surcharge

In addition:

  1. payment of holiday overtime rates and Sunday bonus
  2. no activities other than stated in the job description
  3. punctual notification of the work schedule
  4. handing over of the works agreement at the conclusion of the contract
  5. the agreements also apply to former marginally employed workers

2. necessary improvements

  1. no more isolated communication
  2. more staff
  3. step-in bonus
  4. basic equipment (water, clothing)
  5. salary increase to at least 450 euros
  6. designation “Springer_in” hast to be changed

→ The management has agreed to implement 6 out of 20 points (5, 9, 12, 14, 19 and 20), the majority is still open!


Chronology of events

2021
Februaryfirst colleague throws in the towel because of untenable conditions and quits
Augustthe colleagues start to organize, all agree that „something has to happen“
23.9.new board of directors takes over at the Secession; we wait with contacting to have with „the new ones“ maybe also an unburdened basis
9.10.registered letter of WAS to the management of the Secession with a list of the labor law grievances and an offer for talks
13.10.phone call of the Secession management to WAS with an appointment for 21.10.
21.10.first meeting between WAS and management: precise description of all problem areas under labour law, including valid legal norms; listing of the specific goals of the marginally employed; management agrees that contacting during free time will stop immediately
„early justified resignation“ (possibility of the Austrian labour law to leave immediately with all entitlements when the company is not correct, kind of fireing from employees side) of the next colleague because of the conditions
22.10.the colleagues are contacted in the free time …
pre-postponement of the next meeting date via email by the management to 10.11.
25.10.WAS calls the management by phone that the agreement of 21.10. has been broken and the colleagues are called again during their spare time; the contacts in the free time are stopped from then on
2.11.after a plenary meeting of the affected marginally employed, WAS sends an email to the management stating that they will not take any action until the next meeting and that they accept the very long deadline of three weeks
10.11.second date of talks: commitment by Secession on a few points of the goals, refusal on the remaining points, ex-colleague was forgotten, commitment to inform by 12.11. whether the „offer“ also applies to him
12.11.no communication about the ex-colleague, agreement is broken by Secession
15.11.WAS email with improvements and deadline to confirm them until 17.11.
17.11.Secession ignores our improvements and deadline
two calls of WAS to the management to make clear that we will do the rally if we continue to be ignored
18.11.„threat“ of the workers‘ council to the colleagues concerned that they should not do the demonstration
letters from Secession to the marginally employed workers: some of these contain incorrect time lists, in addition, accumulated overtime from 2018 and 2019 was simply set to zero; in some cases 105 hours of overtime per colleague „disappeared“ in January 2020
WAS-OTS mailing with information about the rally the next day
19.11.invitation by the Secession board to all Secession employees to get to know each other and to talk to each other
WAS protest rally in front of the Secession during the opening of the exhibition
23.11.email of the colleagues to the board: acceptance of the invitation with information that they will come accompanied by another (external) WAS-member
WAS email to management pointing out incorrect time lists in letters and recommending professional or external payroll services
25.11.email from board: denial of accompaniment by external WAS member
26.11.email from the management: payment date of the promised claims could not be met due to overload of payroll accounting (postponement from November to December) plus sketchy promise for „due claims“
29.11.email of the colleagues to the management board that they postpone any discussion until after the management has met the minimum standards under labor law
email from WAS to the management that the struggle will continue until all points (see above) are fulfilled or at least promised in writing
in the new lockdown, there is no information yet on how the marginalized workers are supposed to work; they are standing in front of closed doors; on email inquiry, it is said that the information on this is posted in the Secession, where, however, the colleagues have no access due to a lack of keys, …
30.11.third colleague quits, among other things because of these conditions
3.12.new vague information from the management that an external payroll audit of the claims is unfortunately delayed
13. 12.Discussion between employees and the director, which was called „Jour fix“. All employees from the sections cash desk/guarding/shop are invited. Practically all colleagues confirm the problem areas which were publicised and are in solidarity with the marginally employed. The management again admits that mistakes were made and announces that also the payments of the regular employees will be newly billed. From February on, there should be structural changes. The management talks about how problematic WAS is for a long time and how the wished the employees would organise with ÖGB, the big yellow trade union.
The management carries on with not talking to WAS and there is still no answer regarding the points that have to be implemented!
16.12.Rally in front of the Secession
22.12.Letter from the Secession to the colleagues with a „recalculation“; this results in a few thousand euros in back pay, but is again wrong in essential points (13th & 14th salary, minus hours, …); the management is pushing for signatures under „agreements“ that all claims would be settled with this payment; on-call duty is still categorically denied
2022
JanuaryAfter repeated false accounting by the Secession, the recalculation of the last few years is now being meticulously recalculated by WAS itself. At the same time, different sources report that there is a real positive change and restructuring in the Secession. If applicable, we will publish more detailed information on this at a later date.
09.02.Article on the labor conflict published in the street newspaper Augustin issue 545.
This chronology will be continuously updated. Last update: 9th February 2022.

Continue to support the colleagues until they get what they are entitled to!

Article published 04.12.2021 at WAS Blog. Copying with source reference possible.

Portal aktueller Arbeitskampf Secession

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, Arbeitsrecht, Arbeitszeit, English, Español, Kunst/ Kultur on 5. Dezember 2021 at 21:02

Beim aktuellen WAS-Arbeitskonfkonflikt in der Wiener Secession ist Eure praktische Klassensolidarität weiterhin notwendig. Die betroffenen Geringfügig Angestellten kämpfen weiterhin um die Einhaltung arbeitsrechtlicher Minimalstandards, für die sie bis jetzt keine eindeutige Zusage erhalten haben.
Alle von uns bisher veröffentlichen Artikel mit allen Informationen zu diesem Arbeitskonflikt
– in den Sprachen Deutsch, Spanisch und Englisch – findet Ihr im Folgenden auf einen Blick.

WAS-Kundgebung vor der Secession zur Ausstellungseröffnung am 19.11.2021. Foto: WAS.

Überblick über die Ziele des Arbeitskampfes sowie eine Chronologie der Ereignisse 10.02.2022
Overview of the goals of the labor dispute and a chronology of events 10th February 2022
Resumen de los objetivos de la lucha laboral y cronología de los acontecimientos 15 de enero de 2022

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Labor Struggle Secession – Successful Opening Rally

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, English, Kunst/ Kultur on 20. November 2021 at 18:44

Pleasingly high turnout at the demonstration on the 19th of November during the exhibition opening.

dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

Photo: WAS

After the board of directors of the Association of Visual Artists informed us on Wednesday, November 10th that they would make some small concessions (which, however, do not include even the minimum of labour law obligations), they virtually ruled out further negotiations. As a result, the last ten days information promises were not kept, our letter on corrections ignored and our deadline was not taken seriously. On Wednesday afternoon we asked twice by phone if this really happened in full consciousness – and “yes, we should just demonstrate”, as we were already told before, “we should just go to the labour court if we think we are entitled to more”, . . .

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AGAINST THE EXPLOITATION TAKING PLACE AT THE VIENNA SECESSION

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, Arbeitszeit, English, Kunst/ Kultur, Termine (vergangene) on 19. November 2021 at 03:53

DEMONSTRATION FRIDAY 11/19/21

lee este artículo en castellano/ dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

All the marginally employed of the sectoins cash desk/ guarding/ shop have unionized to stand up against the unbearable working conditions at the Vienna Secession. Since weeks the WAS (vienna workers syndicate) is negotiating with the museum’s CEOs, who now started to just ignore the employee’s demands. Therefore we’re now calling for a demonstration against the violation of worker’s rights in front of the Secession in Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna, at 6:30 PM during the secession’s latest exhibition opening.

Picture: Gryffindor, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Vienna Secession, who makes around 4500 Euros with entry fees and shop sales on an average Saturday only, who’s being sponsored by one of the biggest credit institutes of Austria (Erste Bank), a page-long list of private sponsors and last but not least the Worker’s Chamber itself, finds it normal and necessary to withhold their employee’s wages.

Since the first lockdown in 2020 the marginally employed of the sections cash desk/ guarding/ shop have accumulated so called „negative hours“ every time they couldn’t show to work for the museum had to close due to corona measures.

After the entire yearly vacation entitlement plus all the employee’s overtime credit was consumed by the lockdown, they were asked to work up those hours that they had „missed“. Leading to months of 70 hours working time on average – for a payment of not even 450 Euros.

To be clear: There is no legal basis for „negative hours“, i.e. they’re illegal. Just as illegal as it is to consume an entire vacation entitlement for crisis or even letting your employees accumulate that much overtime without compensating it as money of freetime.

But all of this is – and has already been before the pandemic – a systemic issue. This illegal exploitation was justified with the purpose of „saving jobs“, but that’s not true as still colleagues lost their jobs plus „proper“ positions were replaced with more precarious marginally employed people. On top of that the section cash desk/ guarding/ shop are so notoriously understaffed that it is normal and necessary to call up on employees on vacation in case a colleague on sick leave needs to be replaced or to even make employees who are getting sick call up their colleagues to find their own replacement.

In other words: The Vienna Secession with said sources of income plus state support during the years of crisis didn’t only consider it a smart move to dump the consequences of the pandemic onto their weakest, most lucrative employees who are also most at risk of contracting covid. They considered it to be even smarter to then go on and sell all that as a favor. To their employees, to themselves, and to the public.

Die Secession hat es auf eine Münze geschafft – und ungefähr soviel sind ihnen die ArbeiterInnen wert. Picture: KarleHorn, CC BY 3.0.

The Secession’s slogan „To time their art/ To art their freedom“, considering the amounts of lifetime this institution has stolen their employees, is sheer cynisism. The curatorial profile, just like the „Moria“ banner placed above the secession’s entrance in May 2020 is literal facade.

The Secession, profiling itself through it’s own founding history, inscenating itself against the bourgeoisie and conservatism, has just betrayed every ideal that the pieces on display should stand for – or against.

Being a hierarchy-free union we consider these conditions to be unacceptable. Especially as at this point of negotiation, the Secession is just playing ignorant and doesn’t even want to pay their workers the bare minimum of their entitlement.

Our first protest will take place during the secession’s latest exhibition opening. There will be art scene VIPs plus it will be the first exhibition under the secession’s new steering committee. Let’s show the art world that the exploitation of the weekest will not be easily accepted, especially as not even the bare minimum working standard is being achieved. We ask all class-conscious workers to join us in this labor fight!

There’s also the option of personally speaking to the manager in case of further questions. They can be reached during the opening hours Monday to Friday 10-17.

An attack on one is an attack to all!

Dieser Artikel wurde am 19.11.2021 am WAS-Blog veröffentlicht. Kopieren mit Quellverweis möglich.

Call for mutual aid!

In English, Feminismus, International, Solidarity on 6. August 2021 at 23:26

Support local Afghan anarchists!

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

The WAS participates in the international campaign of our Pakistani comrades to bring anarchists from Afghanistan into safety. At the moment, money is the best way to show solidarity from Europe. Therefore we call for as much money as possible, which we will send to Pakistan and coordinate the transfer to Peshawar, as we are in direct contact with the syndicate there via the IAA (International Workers‘ Association). Here is the full story:

Our new comrades from the Workers Solidarity Initiative WSI have been active in Pakistan for over two years. This young anarcho-syndicalist union has grown considerably and is currently active in ten Pakistani cities. Right now there are well established syndicates in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. This is why the WSI has increasingly been appearing as the “Workers Solidarity Federation” WSF. Just like we did this year, they are planning to change their status from „Friends of the IAA“ to full membership next year, and will apply to join our worldwide union federation as a section.

Multi-ethnic state of Pakistan and the situation in Peshawar

WSI/WSF

The syndicate in Peshawar, in the north-western border region to Afghanistan, has direct contacts with anarchists in Afghanistan. This is not surprising, since the language is the same and there are already around three million Afghan refugees in the region. Peshawar is a two million city like Vienna. Unfortunately, it is also the area where most of the Islamic fundamentalists are active. The area is considered a retreat for the Taliban, and the support of the Pakistani army and the secret service for the Afghan clerical fascists should be well known by now. Nevertheless, the local syndicate is trying to advocate for libertarian socialism and to organize with many workers. As one can probably imagine, they’re currently doing this under the most adverse circumstances. The Islamists are demonstrating on the streets every day, the Pakistani army has currently closed the borders completely and – apart from the Taliban – does not let anyone in or out, cell phone masts are being shut down every day, and stable internet access is always a game of chance.

The current situation and goals

The syndicate in Peshawar now urgently wants to get our comrades out of Afghanistan. The primal goal is to get them to Pakistan as soon as possible, before Taliban governance can solidify. The Anarchists are currently stuck in Afghanistan and their situation must be viewed as potentially life-threatening. They must leave Afghanistan as soon as possible. We strive to enable them to live in the region, but to permanently remove them from the Taliban’s access and threat. This also costs a lot of money. It is a manageable group of people who are all personally known. It is important for us to emphasize this, since it is a direct mutual aid in the most original sense of worker solidarity. We are not talking about a vague “donation campaign” or an impersonal charity campaign. We are speaking of direct action by our comrades who want to get their people out of there and save them!

In case there will still be money left, the secondary goal is to support the workers who are already living in the region and who came as refugees from Afghanistan. These are not members of the WSI / WSF, but workers who have to live in extreme poverty. Everyone is anti-Taliban and the goal is not to leave the field to the fundamentalists in the area, but to support the workers directly.

Situation and financial coordinate system

Reproduction costs of a simple/poor person in Pakistan are about 120 Euro a month. A low-income worker’s monthly wage starts at 100 Euros. A liter of milk costs 0.6 Euros in the supermarket, bread 0.5 Euros. In most areas the purchase power factor is likely to be 1: 5 in relation to Austria. One Euro brings in at least five times as much on site as in Austria. But one can do a lot with little money – as long as it is a matter of simply continuing to exist. The assessment is that with 50 Euros a workers survival can be ensured for one month.

Hand over the cash

So we decided to not only to support the WSI / WSF’s call for donating money to Pakistan as WAS and send as much as possible ourselves, but also to publicly ask you – the interested public – for your contribution, for several reasons. On the one hand, we want to impress a young union with a shining example! 😉 On the other hand, it is particularly important in areas that are not shaped by the West to strengthen structures that are free of domination. Anarchists in Afghanistan and Pakistan are really fundamentally very remarkable and can serve as models for other oppressed people of the Global South and with imperialist experience of oppression, and bring the advantages of anarcho-syndicalism closer. Also we think that nothing compares to direct help from workers to workers.

Since we are in direct contact with Peshawar, we coordinate the transfer for the German-speaking area. We collect the money and make sure that it arrives in Pakistan. For this we can lean on a reliable network in the International Workers‘ Association. We also recently had a detailed phone call with Australian comrades who are very deep into the matter and have already established a secure method of transferring money. The aim is to keep the local syndicate under radar and to not draw the authorities or local Islamist’s attention by a large amount of money sent their way. For example, some western banks have to report transfers to Pakistan generally to the authorities, who then do “anti-terrorism investigations”. What a mockery, considering how easily the Taliban can operate in Pakistan and how their money flows unhindered …

Nevertheless, we are currently also taking care of direct transfer options, as we want to keep the fees as low as possible and are reluctant to send money around the globe.

And how?

In Vienna We propose that you give cash directly to the syndicate member you trust. You are also invited to come to any open meeting. Every Saturday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Ottakring. If you are outside, just contact us by email or phone, and we will tell you how we organize the money handover. A SEPA account is also available. Or you can send us an (anonymous) letter with cash in the old-fashioned way.

The French comrades of the CNT-AIT have also created the common “Internet click option”, which we, if necessary, can also pass on to you. However, we advise against it, firstly for data protection reasons and secondly because of bad experiences with money that is then not released. In addition, the fees are exorbitant and outrageous, and we want to make life easier for Afghan anarchists, not American corporations!

And then?

We will continue to be in direct contact with the WSI / WSF in the future and will endeavor to publish updates and news as far as the security situation allows. However, we would generally prefer to also achieve a level of organization in Austria that does not even need such public appeals. A federation that can simply transfer an appropriate contribution itself and that would not need any “marketing” or “attention economy in the Left Spectacle”. Where everyone naturally works together as a working class purely based on solidarity. With regard to this pious wish, we can still learn a lot from the WSI / WSF, which is progressing under far more violent circumstances and has grown considerably in a very short time. Not to mention the Afghan comrades, whose fight indeed a matter of life and death.

But first let’s get them out of there together. And then we will see.

Feel free to spread this appeal across all channels.


Update September 3, 2021

They’re male and female anarchists! As we have learned on the 2nd of September, they are anarchists of both sexes from Afghanistan. We must have misunderstood the information from the IWA Asia Pacific Subsecretariat. Although we checked the article before it was published and first sent it to WSI / WSF in Pakistan to approve it, we do not want to blame the comrades who are currently under enormous pressure. We incorrectly emphasized that it would be only about Afghan women in the first version of the article from August 21st. We apologize for this mistake!

There is already a first positive feedback from Peshawar, the first 6 anarchists (men and women) have been brought to safety from Afghanistan! More are to follow shortly. We also expect a report from the WSI / WSF.


WAS-IAA
Wiener ArbeiterInnen-Syndikat
Österreichische Sektion der Internationalen ArbeiterInnen-Assoziation
Gewerkschaft für ArbeiterInnen aller Berufe und sonstige Ausgebeutete!
Internet: https://wiensyndikat.wordpress.com
Email: wien.syndikat@riseup.net
Tel.: 0664/874 34 34
Postanschrift: WAS, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Wien

Article published on 08/21/2021 on the WAS blog. Copying possible with reference to the source. Images: WSI/WSF.

Viennese Economy-Crime-Story?

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, Arbeitszeit, English, Informationstechnik, International, Solidarity, Termine (vergangene) on 13. Oktober 2020 at 20:20

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

A well-known telecommunications company, who would not like to read its name here, but may do so soon, retained a well-known consulting firm for an assignment. This consulting firm, who would similarly prefer to not read its name here, though it may just the same come soon to light, retained in turn a IT company to complete this assignment. It should come as no surprise that this IT firm would also have its name kept in the shadows, even if it will soon be readable here. At the end of the chain rests a relatively small SeaMoX Information Technologies Corporation (SeaMoX) from Kaisermühlen, which seeks skilled laborers internationally and brings them to Vienna with myriad promises.

It is also a story of modern IT capitalism: specialists from Southern Europe sought after in the entire continent, paid well by the hour, typically treated with respect, must nevertheless precariously claw after short-term contracts. As a result, they are even cheaper than a full-time engineer in Munich, Milan, or Vienna. An appointment for a project here, a free labour contract there. Sometimes from home, other times a few days in the office in one of Europe’s metropoles. In this manner, they hustle through the offices of Europe’s big corporations. In the case at hand, our Spanish comrade was employed as a subcontractor below three other subcontractors for a large telecommunications firm in Vienna! Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Meeting with our comrades of the Priama Akcia (PA)

In English, International on 29. Oktober 2018 at 23:59

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. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »