The so-called “Solidarity” union from a furniture factory in Bartoszyce has issued a scandalous statement in what seems to be a campaign organized by the bosses of Black Red White company to protect its image after the events of recent weeks.
Solidarity booklet produced in late 1980 about the mass strikes in Poland which had just ended in huge victory for the workers who had made a mixture of economic and political demands.
Last year Poland raised the retirement age to 67 and this year got rid of the guaranteed 8-hour day. Up til now, the main unions have responded with barely a peep. This lack of union militancy has no doubt given the green light to the neoliberal government to push ahead with such anti-worker measures. Now, as the workers demand some response, one wonders if this will be too little, too late. What are the factors that have lead to this situation? They are complex, ranging from the specifics of the local social conditions to the institutions of trade union collaboration. The following is the first in a series of articles on the situation of the unions in Poland.