The Inter-Works Committee of Tower Crane Operators OZZ IP
The tower crane operators' appeal to steel fixers, formwork carpenters, bricklayers and other construction workers
Tower crane operators have started their own trade union. This (we hope) is a groundbreaking endeavour, as the Polish construction sector has, for a long time, been radically unfavourable to any sort of union activity. We'll only be able to talk about a real breakthrough, however, when other occupational groups in the sector follow suit.
A low level of unionization in construction has allowed bosses in the sector to ignore basic principles that ensure safety, well-being and comfort on the job. Alongside which, bosses were able to remove construction jobs from under the jurisdiction of labour law and bring back the 10-hour work day. As all workers of the sector know, even the 10-hour work limit is not respected. Low level unionization has also led (indirectly) to the total collapse of the vocational training system, which has in turn has increased the risk of work site accidents. With no unions to counterbalance these developments, developers and subcontracting companies are unrestrained in running Polish construction sites according to their own profit-driven motives.
We started our own union not only to protect the specific interests of crane operators, but also to bring about fundamental changes in the building sector in line with the interests of other construction workers. In the basic points (I would replace with: At the basic level], the interests of all workers in the sector are the same. Isolated from one another, no occupational group alone will be able to change the situation in Polish construction. We call on all builders to organize yourselves in unions and to act together in defence of our common interests as workers.
One of our main goals should be to return to the 8-hour work day (with at least a 25% increase of hourly wages). 10 hours of work - including commuting time (which in the construction sector is especially long) - means that builders only have a few hours each day for a normal life. We builders deserve better work conditions and the right to a normal life!
Builders of all occupations unite!
8 hours of work and not a minute longer!
Workers' safety and comfort - more valuable than the contents of a cement mixer!