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Demonstration for the Freedom to Unionize a Success

Published on Dec 19, 2009 Tags: , , ,
300 people demonstrated against the court decision prohibiting the FAU Berlin from calling itself a union. [This is a translation of the German press release | versión castellano | version française]

Despite freezing cold temperatures and the short mobilization period, the large crowd of demonstrators showed that they weren't going to take the de facto ban of the FAU Berlin lying down. The demonstration headed towards the Babylon Mitte cinema, whose managers had obtained the ban from the Berlin Regional Court on the December 11, 2009. For this and other attempts to stamp out workers' rights, Babylon manager Timothy Grossman was presented in absentia with the Margaret Thatcher Award for 2009 during the demonstration.

The central theme of the various speeches was the regional court's scandalous decision, which is in flagrant disregard of the basic right to organize. Also discussed was the roll of ver.di (a big union in Germany) and the Left Party (part of Berlin's ruling coalition), who together with the cinema's management undermined the workers' struggle. A few days earlier, ver.di - at the behest of the Left Party - signed a labor contract with the management, which was negotiated without the employees' input and involves conditions well below ver.di's own master contract with other cinemas.

In his speech Hansi Oostinga of the FAU Berlin said: "Our month-long struggle at the Babylon cinema has shown that self-organized, grassroots resistance is possible and can be successful, but also that all attempts will be made to stamp it out. A good union is one that the boss doesn't like."

More information:

Pictures of the demonstration:
http://ccphoto.de/?p=180

Live ticker from the demonstration (pictures and text in German):
http://twitter.com/fau_iaa

More info about the de facto union ban:
http://www.fau.org/verbot

Background info about the Babylon workers' struggle:
http://prekba.blogsport.de/einfuehrung-introduction

Stronger together

Click here to get to the FAU Berlin's English membership formThe FAU Berlin is an independent grassroots union. It is part of the German Free Workers' Union (FAU) federation. Join us, take part, get active.

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FAU Berlin is currently restructuring! This means that we are reducing some of our public activities, to focus on our strategy for the future. Throughout this time we are still providing support to our membership. If you are a member and need assistance, don't hesitate to contact your section/workplace group, or drop into our open Lokal on Fridays.

Intro and advice
Introductory seminar: FAU – How does it work? - Cancelled until further notice.
Open FAU office: Every Friday, 5:00–8:00 PM.
union help desk: always on the 2. and 4. Friday of the month, 6:30 – 7:30 PM.
Please read first!
Tenant rights help desk: Cancelled until further notice.
Advice for worker and business collectives: See the advice page (german) of the union coop // federation.
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Name: Allgemeines Syndikat Berlin
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