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Polish independent trade union federation formed in Sept., 1980. Led by Lech WałęsaWałęsa, Lech
, 1943–, Polish labor and political leader. He worked as an electrician at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk but was dismissed in 1976 for his antigovernment protests.
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, it grew rapidly in size and political power and soon posed a threat to Poland's Communist government by its sponsorship of labor strikes and other forms of public protest. Rural Solidarity, a Polish farmers' union, was recognized in May, 1981. By the middle of 1981, Solidarity had an estimated 9 million members. Although it was able to block government initiatives, it had no means of attaining governmental power. On Dec. 13, 1981, the new party leader Gen. Wojciech JaruzelskiJaruzelski, Wojciech Witold
, 1923–2014, Polish military and political leader. His family fled the 1939 German invasion to Lithuania, and were deported to Siberia after Russia invaded the Baltic States.
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, with Moscow's support, launched a crackdown by declaring martial law, suspending Solidarity, and imprisoning most of its leaders. By the end of 1982, the Solidarity movement had died down enough for Wałęsa to be released from prison and for martial law to be lifted.

During the mid-1980s, Solidarity persisted as an underground organization supported by the Catholic Church, and by the late 1980s it was again a major force in Poland. The union succeeded in frustrating Jaruzelski's attempts at reform, and nationwide strikes in 1988 led to the first governmental attempts to open a dialogue with Solidarity. On Apr. 5, 1989, Solidarity and the government signed an agreement legalizing Solidarity and allowing it to campaign for the upcoming elections. In limited free elections that followed, candidates supported by the union won a resounding victory. By the end of August a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed. In Dec., 1990, Wałęsa was elected president and resigned his union post; he failed to win reelection in 1995. Solidarity has since placed greater emphasis on traditional trade union matters, but the political bloc Solidarity Electoral Action, an outgrowth of the union founded in 1996, governed Poland from 1997 to 2001. Solidarity currently has 722,000 members.


See T. G Ash, The Polish Revolution: Solidarity, 1980–1982 (1984).




(Solidarnosc) Polish labor union movement of the 1980s. [Pol. Hist.: WB, P:541]
See: Labor
References in periodicals archive ?
En realite en Pologne il y avait eu des troubles des l'ete de 1980, troubles conclues par les accords de Gdansk, reconnaissant le droit de greve, le droit a l'information et l'existence des syndicats independants, plus precisement << Solidarnosc >>.
Polish-speaking regional organizers have been created, in part through collaboration with the Polish trade-union federation Solidarnosc, and there have been attempts to recruit to British unions in Poland itself
La fundacion del sindicato Solidarnosc en Polonia en 1980, la Perestroika impulsada por Gorbachov en la Union Sovietica en 1985, o la caida del emblematico muro que dividia en dos la ciudad de Berlin son signos evidentes de un cambio que de forma progresiva modificaria el orden internacional, a nivel politico, economico y social.
38: In which year was the Solidarnosc - Solidarity - trade union founded in Poland in defiance of the Communist authorities?
38 Aging Solidarity's Titles New Generation's Titles My, Solidarnosc (Us, Solidarity), Czekista (A Cheka officera), Nasz Samorzad (Our self- Dezerter (Deserter), Raj government), Bog i Ojczyzna (God (Paradise), Biust (Breast), and the fatherland), Prawda Lewitacja (Levitation), (Truth), Jednosc (Unity), Przegieciepaly (Fish story), A Niepodleglosc (Independence) Capella (A capella), Kontrabas (Contrabass) Table 2.
Firma Cukiernicza Solidarnosc Prok Zalozenia 1952 sp.
5) In the 1980s, however, Poland, as home to Solidarnosc, was a site of anxiety in the East, and was thus largely ignored in East German filmic representations.
A finales de los 80 varios obreros de Taiyuan crearon un "partido democratico chino" inspirado por el sindicato polaco Solidarnosc.
Tomasz Laskowski, a national organiser from the Polish Trade Union Solidarnosc, is assisting Amicus regional officers to identify pockets of Polish workers who are not represented by UK trade unions and encourage them to join Amicus.
The anti-communist passions that supported the rise of Solidarnosc and the fall of totalitarian communism in Poland and elsewhere were manifest in Latin America in a hard-edged suppression of liberation-theology-inspired dissent; Leonardo Boff and Archbishop Romero of El Salvador come to mind.
Bronislaw Geremek, a Polish member of the European Parliament and a former adviser to the Solidarnosc union and a former Polish foreign affairs minister, called the French no the expression of "a lack of hope in the European Union" and of "disappointment" in the enlargement to the East.
Between 1983 and 1989, the AFL-CIO provided more money to the Marcos-created Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) to use against the progressive labor organization Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) than it gave to any other labor movement in the world, including Poland's Solidarnosc.