Impuls Agency specializes in hiring senior citizens at subminimum wage on trash contracts. These people simply do not have enough money to retire and have to work, but find it very difficult to get any job. Worse yet, these people often have to wait months to get paid, or quit, having received no money at all. Many workers are owed from 3-6 months' wages.
On November 21, members of ZSP and another union went to the office of Impuls agency to demand that immediate payments be made to ex-workers who hadn't received any money for months. These workers were hired at 80 euro cents per hour and often worked up to 250 hours a month just to make 200 euros.
We went to the office of the agency and demanded that the people be paid everything they were owed immediately. At first the Impuls people claimed that there was no money, even though today they are supposed to pay people. (It was typical that workers would should up on pay day and be told there was no cash and to come back another day.) We said we would not move until they were paid. The action was meaning filmed by a TV crew. After some time, one of the managers came and paid people. The four workers who went today received over 3000 euros in total. Most were owed 3-4 months' salary.
Combined with payments from other actions, people have received about 8000 euros of back pay.
Everybody was very happy that these people received some money, because the situation for them could be really tragic. There are some other people owed money who couldn't come because they work elsewhere and couldn't get time off. This shows how hard it has been for them and that not everybody can afford days off to keep going to this office. But Impuls knows that we will be back with at least 2 more people.
We also do not accept the situation that these workers were hired on trash contracts instead of normal ones and, because of this, their salaries were less than 1/3 of the minimum wage, they received no overtime payment or holidays. We are trying to get a legal decision that they should have been normally employed so that they can claim the difference between what they were just paid and what they should have been paid. In the meanwhile, at least they have some money to pay the bills and put food on the table thanks to direct action.
We continue to inform people about the situation and encourage people to take action. In addition, we are trying also to educate people about their rights as employees and to fight against the abusive use of trash contracts and the use of the subminimum wage.
Video of the action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QTjd6LDEr8