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Sfizy veg: Update

Veröffentlicht am 03.03.2016 Kategorien: , ,
Friday the 29th of January was a good day, a day on which another act of resistance to the exploitation that the bosses try to enforce on us took place. Our comrades M. and S. reached an agreement at Berlin Labor Court for the Sfizy Veg case, a struggle for dignity and restoration of truth after the outrageous dismissals were issued.

A protest was organized in front of the court by our union, the FAU. We went there with our flags, our banner and our presence to support our comrades. We expressed our solidarity in front of the court house because we, for sure, do not believe in the state of “justice” and we recognize that there are a variety of more effective tools we can use to help us in the class struggle.

In the court room, the claims of the bosses fell away really quickly since they had no solid ground. Judging by their physical appearance, the bosses’ shock and the surprise arising from this small taste of workers' self-organisation, was really clear. The agreement that the judge verified and gave a week to be finalized, included the restoration of truth through proper dismissals, the financial compensation (annual holiday pay, full salary up until the end of the working relation) of the comrades plus the recommendation letter and the official papers.

Sfizy Veg is a supposed alternative left-wing vegan restaurant that invokes an image that exploits vegan subculture and left-wing movements in order to attract customers and maximize profits. In reality, working at Sfizy Veg does not differ from working in any business inside the capitalistic system – as our comrades experienced first hand.

At first, the dismissal (an “außerordentliche kündigung”) was issued with reasons that could cause big problems to for our comrades in their future life . This includes excluding them from unemployment money (every worker's right), and making it very difficult for them to find work in future, or causing many problems for them at their next workplace. But truth always shines in the long run. At first, the dismissals inflamed the comrades, but after the successful campaign, the struggle concluded in a simple termination of the labor relationship.

We wanted what is every worker's right: A good recommendation letter, official papers (pay slips, a “rote karte” – a certificate of personal hygene), annual holiday pays, a full salary up until the end of the working relation, personal working equipment and a dismissal that does not create problems afterwards. We got them all of these despite the negative stance of the bosses (until they  came to grips with reality). FAU created a dynamic that not only protected the comrades, so that they could claim their rights, but  allowed them to expose the true face of and conditions at Sfizy Veg. This was an initiative from union members to practice their solidarity, to indicate once again that there is no difference between a left-wing or a right-wing boss, and that class interests differ. It was a counter-information campaign to make people active, especially since the restaurant is supposed to have a left-wing background and uses it to attract people.

It is common tactic for the bosses to try to exploit foreign workers’  lack of knowledge about the labor law, the language gap, the fact that they are alone, the reasons and the needs that push people to emigrate in the first place – only for them to be forced to work under lousy conditions and fired without legal basis in their new home. In many cases, psychological violence is used as reinforcement. But almost every time a worker has reacted and successfully claimed his or her rights, these rights were won on the basis that there was no ground for what the bosses claimed and practiced. Their exploitation and thirst for profits has no limits.

Its worth mentioning that this was a case at a workplace with less than 10 workers, where there is no dismissal protection for the workers under German law. But as long as workers stand together to fight for each other’s dignity, their freedom, their right to live as humans and not as numbers or equations in the capitalistic system, they enter the class struggle. When we organize ourselves as workers, as political subjects – in unions, in self-organized structures, with anti-authoritarian methods – we are building a new world inside the shell of the old; a world based not on the profit and exploitation but on dignity and humanity above all.

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