Brief History of Solidarity Workers' Union - Timetable
This year on August 31 we will celebrate the 25
anniversary of Solidarity Workers’ Union (Zwiazek Zawodowy Solidarnosc)
-the first independent workers’ union operated legally in the communistic
block. Creation of the Solidarity helped to abolished the Soviet system.
The origin of Solidarity traces back to a creation of Workers'
Defense Committee (KOR, Komitet Obrony Robotnikow) in 1976. KOR was created
by a group of intellectuals to help the workers who were detained after
the strikes in the same year (1976). Read more about these events in the
Problems and the growing political Opposition, 1976-1980 .
July 1980 -Strikes in several factories (150 factories
and 50 thousands workers) in the protest against a price increase of
meat (Swidnik, Lublin)
August 14 -Beginning of the strike in Gdansk's Shipyard
after Lech Walesa and Anna Walentynowicz are fired from work for their
political activities. The strike committee is formed demanding that
both of them would be permitted to return to work. The committee had
some economical and political requests – among them to build a monument
to commemorate the victims of the strike in Gdansk in December 1970
(this strike led to overturn of the communistic government of Gomulka
and establishment of a new government ruled by
Gierek – read more about in the article Edward
Gierek, Polish Leader from Decade 1970-1980).
August1 16 - Director of the shipyard agrees to increase the
salaries but does not agree to any of the political requests. The strike
is announced as finished but the representations from over 20 other
companies (with Lis and Gwiazda) arrives asking for a continuation of
the strike under the leadership of Lech Walesa.
August 17 - Priest Jankowski holds a mass in the front of the
shipyard. After the mass a wooden cross is mounted in the same place
where the workers died during the strike in 1970. The list of 21 final
postulates is prepared, many of the postulates based on were based largely
on KOR's Charter of Workers' Rights.
August 21 - The Polish government sents its representatives
to negotiate an agreement with workers in shipyards in Gdansk (Danzig)
and Szczecin (Stettin). The strikes are erupting all around Poland.
Until the end of August the strikes spread out over Silesian coal mines,
the miners’ strike committee is created in Jastrzebie.
August 30 -agreement between the Stettin Workers Committee
Marian Jurczyk and the government represented by Kazimierz Barcikowski
was signed. The final signing of the agreement in Danzig in delayed
compared to Stettin because the committee demands the release of all
August 31 - At 5 pm, Mieczyslaw Jagielski, the negotiator of the government site announces that all political prisoners will be releases during 24 hours. The final agreement is signed between the government and the striking committee, representing over 500 companies with Lech Walesa. See the photograph when Lech Walesa signs by use of his famous big pen. This day is considered the Day of Solidarity. The most important postulate was the permission to create independent workers’ unions SOLIDARITY (SOLIDARNOSC)
September 3 -The agreement was reached between the miners united in
Jastrzebie striking committee and the government, in the result of this
agreement six independent workers unions are created
Solidarity logo - project Jerzy Janiszewski
See photographs of Lech Walesa while he was visiting Washington DC during 25th anniversary of Solidarity. Check the article devoted to Solidarity women entitled: Podziemie Kobiet (The Underground of Women); see all texts devoted to Solidarity and communism among them
Solidarity, Freedom and Economical Crisis in Poland, 1980-81 .
I recommend a book written by Timothy Garton Ash, Timothy Garton Ash, entitled
Polish Revolution: Solidarity (Third Edition)
I recommend a book written by Rebecca Stefoff entitled
Lech Walesa: The Road to Democracy (Great Lives)
Check also autobiographical book entitled:
The Struggle and the Triumph: An Autobiography
by Lech Walesa, Arkadiusz Rybicki (Contributor), Franklin Phillip (Editor)
The SITE MAP contains all articles classified according to the topic.