Workers at a Thales DIS security printing facility in Poland have set up a trade union as part of ZZP thanks to a tightly knit workforce and the support of Thales trade union organisations from across Europe.

The workers at the Tczew facility in the north of the country print highly sensitive ID documents such as passports. Their new union, a highly cohesive and motivated organisation, was formed after months of preparation. At the time of its official launch, the union was made up of 50 workers. One-to-one conversations among the workers were key to getting them on board for asserting their right to association and setting up the first trade union on site. More than 100 workers are now members, and this number is growing steadily. It proves that at a time of rising inflation (16% in Poland) and a cost-of-living crisis affecting European workers, including the most vulnerable, there is a need to organise workers and create trade unions able to engage in collective bargaining.

UNI Europa and industriAll Europe, representing trade union organisations active in Thales throughout Europe, warmly congratulate the workers and welcome the launch of the new union eager to get negotiations off to a positive start.

“The colleagues are committed to launching a good social dialogue and the mood is very positive. We are united and the support from fellow unions elsewhere has been great. Now all our focus is on getting our relationship with management off to a constructive start. We are confident that management will welcome our initiative, given the high-quality social dialogue that has been close to the heart of the Thales group and the constructive cooperation shown by our fellow unions across Europe”, said Andrzej Mirau, secretary of the new union.

High standards of employment, including in relation to collective bargaining, are central to the EU’s increased focus on critical infrastructure. Security printing and, more broadly, all of Thales business activities, are part of this infrastructure and UNI Europa and industriAll Europe are committed to seeing these high standards applied in all the multinational company’s sites. Building trade union power and giving workers a collective voice is a precondition to reach this goal.