Prime Minister speaking about NSZZ “Solidarność” : it is the largest and unique social and national movement in the history of the whole world

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took part in the ceremonies commemorating the 40th anniversary of the strikes that took place in 1980 and the establishment of the “Solidarity” trade union. “Sometimes we refer to those days, especially the day of 31st August, as the outbreak of ‘Solidarity’. There is a lot of truth to this statement. There was that fire that Mickiewicz wrote about, which cannot be extinguished even in one hundred years of coldness. There was hope that the fate of our country would change”, said the head of government.


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Photo: Adam Guz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

As Prime Minister emphasized during the celebrations at the Solidarity Square in Gdańsk, the “Solidarity” was not only a trade union or a social organisation, but also the social and national movement that was unique in the history of the whole world. “That movement was aimed at fighting and winning a dignified life in an independent and sovereign state," he continued.

Rememberance of the “Solidarity” activists

The head of government pointed out that the objectives of "Solidarity" guided the actions of both the trade unionists and the supporters and anonymous people, who should also be remembered.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki made a reference to Anna Walentynowicz, Lech Kaczyński and Henryk Wujec - the leaders of "Solidarity" who passed away. He thanked Andrzej Kołodziej as well as Joanna and Andrzej Gwiazda, among others, who were present at the Gdańsk celebrations. He also recalled the figure of Tadeusz Szczudłowski who initiated the erection of the cross at the gate to the Gdańsk Shipyard.

The ideas of "Solidarity" still valid today

“It was a bloodless, peaceful revolution.  It serves as a model act for the nations around the world”, said the Prime Minister.

The ideas of "Solidarity" are still important and relevant. “It is not just a history lesson. It is also a great task and a commitment for years to come (...) It is a great project that is still unfinished. Those ideals of “Solidarity” are not only the history of the last 40 years. They are also a determinant for the next 40 years for the governments, rulers, society and our nation”, the head of government pointed out.

Referring to the situation in Belarus, he also added that today the people of Belarus are fighting for freedom, democracy, and sovereignty to be built on the basis of freedom. “We are with you. Polish solidarity is with you”, Prime Minister assured.

Commemoration of the events of August 1980

Prime Minister also laid flowers at Gate No. 2 of the Gdańsk Shipyard and at the monument to Anna Walentynowicz. The celebrations ended with a Holy Mass in the St. Bridget’s Church in Gdańsk.

 

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The strikes in 1980 and the establishment of the "Solidarity” trade union

The Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarity" is a nationwide trade union, the first organisation of this type in the communist countries, independent of the state authorities. 

Its origins lie in the strike wave of 1980. In August of that year, strikes on the coast began, including the most important one at the then Lenin Shipyard. As a result, an agreement between the governmental committee and the Interfactory Strike Committee was signed in Gdańsk on 31 August 1980. Agreements were also signed in Szczecin, Jastrzębie-Zdrój and Dąbrowa Górnicza.

Signing of the so-called “August Agreements” ended the events of August 1980.

As a result, the representatives of workers from all over Poland established the nationwide Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarity” (Polish: NSZZ “Solidarność”) on 17 September in Gdańsk.

The signing of the August Agreements and the establishment of "Solidarity" marked the beginning of the changes in 1989.

 

 


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