On September 14, mass protests were held in Warsaw against recent anti-labour legislation. Unfortunately the unions did not call a strike.
At least 100,000 people joined the demonstrations called by the three main trade unions in Poland against the legislation that basically did away with the guaranteed 8-hour working day in Poland. Despite the serious attacks against the working class, the unions backed off from calling strikes after the government threatened to do away with the system that gives them subsidized paid union jobs.
It is obvious that this system is used to manage a class of labour bureaucrats who have become used to the understanding between them and the bosses: don't make trouble and we will finance your cadres of unionists.
At the rank and file level, there are people ready to strike. But they are also constrained by the unions which follow the restrictive laws on strikes and take all measures possible to moderate any potential action from the workers. Some years ago there were more workers who were ready to break union discipline, but now many seemed quite demoralized. Despite the large number of demonstrators, the protests were much calmer than the ones which took place in the country 5-10 years ago.
The unions also did little to spread the protest to other unions and social groups, instead chosing to deliberately exclude some, such as the fourth largest union in Poland. The mobilization from the right-wing was quite large, whereas the left and alternative mobilizations were very weak, highlighting the unfortunate social situation in the country at present. Nazis and fascists took part in the event, going after various comrades,
Despite the large protest, it looks like the Polish working class is still far from taking more resolute action against the attacks against it, exposing it to even further abuse and ensuring its position as a source of cheap labour for capitalists looking to dump jobs there. We can only hope some things will happen to turn the situation around in the near future.