Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/319/9727

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 October 2003

Poland: An Explosion Of Class Struggle

IN RECENT months Poland has been swept by a wave of strikes and protests. The most spectacular is the struggle of the Silesian miners. They are protesting against plans by the Social Democratic (SLD) government to close four mines and cut 14,000 jobs.

Paul Newbery, Poland

Since the beginning of the 1990s, employment in the mines has been slashed from 450,000 to 142,000 jobs. Miners responded to the latest plans by organising road blockades in the industrial heartland of Silesia and occupying the mines facing closure.

On 12 September thousands of miners demonstrated in Warsaw. Attacked by riot police and water cannons, the miners answered with Molotov cocktails and a raid on the SLD party headquarters and the ministry of the economy.

Support for the miners is high in the Silesia region, where unemployment reaches 36%. There is now a prospect of linking the miners' struggle with protests of other workers.

Far from the rosy future promised just a few months ago during the European Union (EU) referendum in Poland, membership of the European Union will bring nothing but misery for Polish workers. Due to overcapacity in certain sectors of the European economy, part of the neo-liberal agenda of the EU is to cut production in Poland. Among those sectors affected are mining, steel and agriculture.

Capitalist cutbacks

European capitalists want to remove all barriers to the Polish market and at the same time impose limits on Polish production. Government spending is being slashed, and social services and the health service are being slaughtered.

In addition, many enterprises are facing bankruptcy due to the recession in Europe. As a result, thousands of workers have received no wages for months.

It's not surprising then that protests, strikes and factory occupations are springing up everywhere in Poland "like mushrooms after the rain" as the Polish saying goes.

One example is Tonsil electronics factory, where over 700 workers haven't been paid since May. Many workers have loans which they are unable to pay and face action by bailiffs. The company has been waiting for three months for 12 million zloties (2 million) in aid from the state Treasury.

In Ostrow Wielkopolski workers in the wagon factory organised an occupation to save their enterprise from bankruptcy.

This company was privatised a number of years ago and the new owners, who are suspected of having links with the Mafia, stand accused of siphoning off about 12 million zloties (2 million) from the company.

A few weeks ago when the company board met to discuss a resolution of the conflict, the owners were almost lynched by the workers.

One of the major problems facing the Polish workers' movement is the failure of union leaders to spread and generalise the struggle. However, last year, a major development was the formation of the All-Poland Protest Committee.

Workers' unity

This attempted to unite workers in struggle. For the first time since the restoration of capitalism, the demand for the renationalisation of privatised enterprises facing bankruptcy was put forward.

This demand represented a major change in the consciousness of workers. One of the beacons of struggle at that time was the occupation of Ozarow Cable factory just outside Warsaw.

The owner, a Polish businessman, had bought the factory in order to strip its assets. The occupation lasted over 300 days and was smashed by the use of a private security firm.

In recent days, the former workers of Ozarow have once more occupied the plant as a result of the failure of the factory owner to provide alternative employment for the sacked workers.

Marxists in Poland are fighting to build solidarity action and link up the many strikes and protests taking place in the country at the moment.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 October 2003:

United Action To End Low Pay

Save Our Health Service

London Workers Lead Fight For A Living Wage

Stand Together To Scrap The SATS


Socialist Party news and analysis

Can The Nasty Party Win Again?

Fighting Women's Oppression

Socialist Alliance Trade Union Convention


Comment

Apparently it's all my fault...


Socialist Party feature

More Jailings But Deeper Anger

Greater Dublin City Bin service shut down!

Anti Bin Tax Campaigns Thank Bin Workers; Call for End to Non-Collection and Jailings


War and occupation

Iraq's 'Liberation' Nightmare

Protest Against Warmonger Bush

Democracy And The Stop The War Coalition


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

World economy: Will There Be A Recovery?


Youth

ISR conference:

Stop Fees Now!


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: A Movement Of Insurrectionary Scale

California: Last Action Hero Will Let Down Voters

Nigeria: General Strike Suspended After Government Backs Down

Poland: An Explosion Of Class Struggle


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 October 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Poland:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Political turmoil in Poland

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSlave labour at Sports Direct

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

Miners:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleWarts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

triangleMutinies and strikes: when Bolshevism threatened British bosses

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners

EU:

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

International

International

18/10/17

Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2