Herrschaftsfreie Basisgewerkschaft – Österreichische Sektion der IAA

Archive for the ‘English’ Category

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”, . . .

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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


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


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.

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 »

About us

In Allgemeines, English on 29. April 2012 at 13:54

deutsche Version

Are you annoyed about cuttings in your wages, even if you are organized in a big union? The works council pretends doing something but nothing is happening? There is nobody you can rely to because you are in a precarious employment?

WAS-cat(1)What does „union“ mean to us?

Workers got to connect and fight together for better wages and a society grounded on freedom for everyone and solidarity. We don’t need permission of the state or companies for that.

Union for whom?

Most people living on this planet have nothing to sell but their labour. We are workers, there is no better word for it. People like us

  • are in regular, precarious, false self-employed or lawless working conditions
  • have jobs, are unemployed, are in education, do „private“ care-work or have to do forced labour by the state
  • have all genders, sexual orientations, national or religious heritage, age or physical conditions

Hierarchies and forms of rule – patriarchy, racism, nationalism, competition, pressure to perform – are separating us workers and incite us against each other. We are forced to knuckle down and knuckle down others. We fight against this system! We fight for solidarity!

And what differentiates us between regular unions?

  1. We respond quickly to a concrete situation and condition and the individual needs.
  2. Every member can participate.
  3. Our structures are transparent, independent and grassroots democratic.
  4. There are no leader committees, no paid functionaries and there is no bureaucracy and therefore no corruption.
  5. Our syndicate and groups are making decisions which concern them independently. Common decisions are made together. There is no central institution.
  6. We believe in active solidarity and direct actions. Not any form of representation.
  7. Support for our members is fast and uncomplicated.
  8. We are connected to other anarchist unions worldwide. Our solidarity is beyond national borders.
  9. We do not depend on political parties or other representation institutions, like common unions.
  10. Our perspective for the future: Every person should organize her or himself. At the working place, in housing, and other places. There can be free associations between cross-regional federations, which can improve our working condition and grow independence from the state and other authorities. Also we can learn how to create a solidary, ecological and grass-root structured economy within the old unjust society. When capitalism is gone, we will already have everything we need.

A society without authority and wage slavery!


Statutes of the WAS 2019 (German, pdf file)