The International Solidarity Commission of the Industrial Workers of the World extends its solidarity to the workers of Piccadilly and Max Telecom, as well as the Autonomous Workers’ Union of Bulgaria, engaged in wildcat strikes across the country in response to rampant wage theft at both companies.
Workers at numerous Piccadilly locations, one of Bulgaria’s largest supermarket chains, have not been paid their wages in months without an explanation from their employers. In Sofia on 21 March, workers stormed the company’s headquarters with the intent of occupying the building. Private security blocked the headquarters’ entrances as management hid inside from the crowd outside. In Varna, workers blocked the largest Piccadilly store in the city, and subsequently marched to a nearby Investbank location (the bank in control of the company’s assets) demanding that Investbank allow payments from Piccadilly’s bank account go through to workers. Workers are demanding immediate payment of uncompensated wages as well as full benefits from the company.
At Max Telecom, the fourth largest mobile phone provider in Bulgaria, the salaries of more than 150 workers have gone unpaid for three months. In response, on 24 March workers rallied at the company’s headquarters in Sofia, read statements, and then subsequently occupied the building. After finding the building vacant (the bosses had fled) workers covered the offices of Max Telecom headquarters with fliers and stickers.
The Autonomous Workers’ Union will be organizing meetings between the two groups of striking workers with the intention of conducting a collective protest, where Max Telecom and Piccadilly workers will rally together to contest wage theft at both companies.
More information on both campaigns can be found here:
The website for the Autonomous Worker’s Union (ARS) of Bulgaria can be found here: http://arsindikat.org
FW Sparrow, Florian H., Joey v.d.N.
International Solidarity Commission of the IWW