Natalia Szymanska, a young Polish woman was sacked from Subway in her fifth month of pregnancy on a dubious charge of being in breach of the company’s health and safety policy.
We call on Subway to:-
· immediately reinstate the pregnant worker,
· reimburse her for loss of earnings,
· compensate her for the injury to feeling,
· treat all workers fairly.
You can make a difference.
Join the Protest
The Belfast Trades Council is asking as many people as possible to sign our petition in defence of Natalia Szymanska who was sacked by Subway on a dubious charge in reality it is because she was pregnant.
Please click the link below to sign the petition
For more information on the dispute please see below or look at our website for details on the next picket
The B&DTUC will expose and challenge the mistreatment of workers and in particular migrant workers who are amongst the most vulnerable in our society.
Subway’s Reason for Dismissing Natalia
Extract from the letter dismissing Natalia signed by the Managing Director Subway:
‘Having listened to your explanation I considered it to be unsatisfactory because, as notified to all employees and posted on the notice boards in store, the following Health and Safety regulation was blatantly disregarded:
‘The only personnel allowed to be on the premises are those members of staff that are on duty and clocked in to do the opening and closing duties. (…) No unauthorised members of staff, friends or family members are to be on the premises.’
I listened to your explanations at the hearing but you failed to provide any mitigating circumstances and I have to take into account the fact that you are employed in a position of trust and responsibility. There is no doubt that Andrzej was present in store without authorisation as this was shown on our CCTV, you therefore disregarded the Health and Safety regulations and as such we have lost trust and confidence in you in your position of Supervisor. As a consequence therefore, I have decided that your employment should be terminated.’
Extract from Natalia’s letter of Appeal:
I wish to appeal the decision to dismiss me on the following grounds:-
1. That the level of disciplinary action was overly excessive.
2. Senior management were aware that my boyfriend Andrzej, who was also an employee of G. G. Cuisine, would call into the shop to escort me home as my shift ended at 10pm and he was concerned for my safety especially given my condition. At no time did management inform Andrzej or me that he should not do this.
3. I believe that the real reason for my dismissal was due to the fact that I had recently informed G. G. Cuisine that I was pregnant.
It is the representative’s view that the appeal conducted by the Financial Director was not fair as it did not address the central point of Natalia’s case i.e. that senior management previously accepted that Natalia’s partner, who was also a Subway employee, regularly came to the shop as she was pregnant.
One month after she informed the employer that she was pregnant Natalia was sacked.
CCTV recordings and other evidence which would prove that Natalia was correct were denied to the representatives.
The employer claims that the last protest was ‘intimidating and harassing.’ We reject this totally. We are peacefully protesting against what we see as the mistreatment of a migrant worker in Subway.
The B&DTUC will expose and challenge the mistreatment of all workers and in particular migrant workers who are amongst the most vulnerable in our society.