Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 July 2008

Poland: Thousands join 'hands off the Labour Code' demo

TWO THOUSAND trade unionists took to the streets of Warsaw, on 20 June, to protest against the government's proposed changes to the Labour Code. The demonstration was organised by the Committee for the Defence and Aid of Repressed Workers (KPiORP), under the slogan, "Enough repression and exploitation! Hands off the Labour Code!"

Paul Newbery and Florian Nowicki, GPR (CWI, Poland)

Apart from a sizeable delegation of miners and steelworkers from the trade union August 80, there were also delegations from Workers' Initiative, Solidarnosc '80, Solidarnosc and OPZZ unions. The demonstration was also supported by groups of tenants and pensioners.

Besides the KPiORP demo, on the same day 300 shipyard workers from the legendary Gdansk shipyard demonstrated to try to save their jobs.

There was also a protest of 500 health workers from epidemiology clinics and, a day earlier, railway workers from the Solidarnosc union demonstrated over early retirement.

In 2007, the number of strikes and workers' protests was the highest this decade and this figure increased in the first half of 2008.

New layers of workers are entering into struggle for decent pay and working conditions. Protests have rocked not only the mining industry, but also hospitals, the post office, public transport and even supermarkets.

This is what Donald Tusk's neo-liberal government and the bosses are afraid of - a united struggle of workers. Hence, the campaign against trade unions in the media and the attacks on workers' rights.

Tusk's aims

Tusk wants to make it easier to fire employees, by making the Labour Code "flexible". He wants to take away the right to early retirement for railway workers, power workers and building workers.

These changes to the Labour Code and the law on trade unions and collective bargaining are the most drastic since capitalist restoration in 1989. However, they are only the first steps in plans to nip in the bud the reawakening workers' movement and remove 'restrictions' for the dictatorship of capital.

Florian Nowicki, a member of the Group for a Workers Party (GPR), addressed the protesters in the name of KPiORP. He attacked the proposal to change the right to strike, which aims to make it practically impossible to organise a legal strike, and he called for a united struggle of all trade unions.

GPR played an active role in building for the demonstration. We also put up posters advertising the demonstration and took responsibility for a range of organisational matters. On the demonstration, we marched behind our two banners and gave out hundreds of leaflets.

Norbert Zadora, GPR member and chair of the Czestochowa branch of August 80, spoke to the demo in the name of GPR. His lively speech was met with loud cheers of approval. Zadora called on trade unions to organise a general strike, "from the mines of Silesia to the shipyards of Pomerania."

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 2 July 2008:

Hands off our NHS!

Feature: 60 years of the NHS

Socialist Party campaigns

Local government strike action: Workers say: 'enough is enough!'

Fight Labour's welfare privatisation

91% of pay deals are below inflation

Workers united against pay freeze

Socialist Party news and analysis

Education - class segregation grows

Boris Johnson reveals his real policies

Royals down to their last crown?

Union support for demo to stop BNP 'festival'

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network: Rebuilding trade union strength

Campaign for a New Workers Party

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Obituary: Terry Fields

Socialist Party LGBT

LGBT London Pride: No to homophobia

International socialist news and analysis

Mugabe clique tightens its grip on Zimbabwe

Big oil returns to Iraq

Poland: Thousands join 'hands off the Labour Code' demo

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS shows action gets results

Visteon workers win 5%

For a fighting, democratic Usdaw

Tube cleaners in pay strike

Victory for Belfast Airport shop stewards

East London street cleaners fight privatised employer


Home   |   The Socialist 2 July 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


trianglePoland: thousands mourn death of murdered mayor

trianglePoland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Political turmoil in Poland

triangleThe Socialist Inbox





Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo


Nuclear weapons

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes



Israel: Nurses strike and win


Hong Kong

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights


South Africa

South Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign



France: 20,000 rally against Paris's killer gendarmes



Black and white youth rise up against racism - US protester speaks to the Socialist



USA - another cop killing of unarmed black man sparks widespread protests



Outrage spreads globally following US police murder of George Floyd


Hong Kong

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests



Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon



Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race



India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus



Trump puts profit before safety (again)

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020