SlavicTestGuide_1 - 1 December 1981: Solidarity Congress On...

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1 December 1981 : Solidarity Congress On December 13, 1981, the Polish Prime Minister, General Wojcieoh Jaruzelski, imposed a "state of war" (equivalent to martial law). As part of a well-planned takeover that required months of secret preparations, the military arrested almost all of Solidarity's top leaders, including Walesa, and shut down all their offices. August 1980: The cry for freedom of association for workers had been heard before in Communist Poland, but never as resonantly as from Gdansk and other industrial centers in August of 1980. In August 1980, even some of its own advisors, hastily summoned from Warsaw to bolster its negotiating team, thought the demand for freedom of association was too far-reaching, one that a Communist government could never live with, and that, therefore, it was worth trading for less radical re- forms. The committee rejected the idea. The Gdansk Accord The defiant mood of the workers in Gdansk and elsewhere, as well as a divisive crisis in the up- permost ranks of the ruling Communist Party (known as the Polish United Workers' Party) made the government representatives at Gdansk, headed by a Deputy Prime Minister, extremely anxious to settle. They quickly agreed to a very generous wage increase and other concessions in the hope that these would satisfy the strikers. The government negotiators also promised reforms of the party-dominated Central Council of Trade Unions (CRZZ), as it was then called, to make it more responsive to workers, but Solidarity held firm for its central demand. Finally, on August 31, the two sides signed the historic Gdansk Accord. On the accord's first page, the government pledged to "guarantee and ensure complete respect for the independence and self-government of the new trade unions,"(2) and reinforced that pledge with other language, for example, basing the creation and operation of the new unions on guarantees found not only in International Labor Organization Convention 87 on the freedom of association, but also in ILO Convention 98 on the right to organize and to bargain collectively. (Both conventions had been ratified by Poland.) June 1976 is the name of a series of prostests and demonstrations in People's Republic of Poland . The protests took place after Prime Minister Piotr Jaroszewicz revealed the plan for an increase in the price of many basic commodities, particularly foodstuffs (butter by 33%, meat by 70%, and sugar by 100%). Prices in Poland were at that time fixed , and controlled by the government, which was falling into increasing debt . The protests started on 24 June and lasted till 30 June, the largest violent demonstrations and looting taking place in Płock and particularly Radom . The protests were quelled by the government, but the plan for the price increase was shelved; Polish leader Edward Gierek backed down and dismissed Prime Minister Jaroszewicz. This left the gov- ernment looking both economically foolish and politically weak, a very dangerous combination. The 1976 disturbances and the subsequent arrests and dismissals of militant workers brought the
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This note was uploaded on 03/05/2008 for the course FRENCH 41 taught by Professor Ganz during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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SlavicTestGuide_1 - 1 December 1981: Solidarity Congress On...

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