The best way to observe these changes is through the different stages thatPoland has spent from the last 60 (since the end of World War II).
The first of these stages happened from 1945 to 1980 when the forces of Nazi Germany were forced to retreat by the Red Army and Polish volunteers, creating in the post-war Republic of Poland, satellite socialist State of the Soviet Union.
At the insistence of Joseph Stalin, the Yalta Conference sanctioned theformation of a new Polish provisional and pro-Communist coalition government in Moscow, which ignored the Polish government-in-exile based in London; a move which angered many Poles who considered it a betrayal by the Western Allies. In 1944, Stalin had made guarantees to Churchill and Roosevelt that he would maintain Poland's sovereignty and allow democratic elections to take place; however, uponachieving victory in 1945, the occupying Soviet authorities organised an election which constituted nothing more than a sham and was ultimately used to claim the 'legitimacy' of Soviet hegemony over Polish affairs. The Soviet Union instituted a new communist government in Poland, analogous to much of the rest of the Eastern Bloc. Despite widespread objections, this government accepted the Sovietannexation of the pre-war Eastern regions of Poland and agreed to the permanent garrisoning of Red Army units on Poland's territory.
During this time, Poland was characterized as an authoritarian socialist state; the Industrial Relations were monocratics (only state corporatism) with Leninist-type trade unions and some influence for the non-union employee representation.
It was impossible tonegotiate the working conditions in favor of what workers demanded because the trade unions were under the mandate of the State. Although workers had representation, they were not represented. Trade Unions were in charge of bringing the State decisions to the workplaces.
By law, unions were free, but that was not reality. Were required trade unions in a communist regime?Not seem necessary. The unions are necessary in capitalist countries, such as defense workers from enterprises to be part of a negotiating table, and all based on the free market. But in a communist country, where is the state that establishes the standards (planned economy) Trade Unions are not necessary.
However, as a result of many social conflicts, there were forms of worker representation spontaneously e.g. (workers’councils in 1956, strike committees in 1970).
THE PERIOD OF 80`S
During the 80`s the communist regime persisted in Poland (the same communist constitution, the same political control by the Soviet Union). But a severe economic crisis caused a giant wave of social unrest which made it appear the democratic opposition.
As a result of this, appeared Solidarność, a social movement type of trade union todefense the interest of the workers. Solidarność was led by Lech Wałęsa, an electrician who was a member of the illegal strike committee in Gdańsk Shipyard in1970. Solidarność was the first independent labor union in a Soviet-bloc country. Using strikes and other protest actions, Solidarity sought to force a change in government policies. At the same time, it was careful never to use force orviolence, so as to avoid giving the government any excuse to bring security forces into play. After 27 Bydgoszcz Solidarity members, including Jan Rulewski, were beaten up on March 19, a four-hour warning strike on March 27, involving around twelve million people, paralyzed the country. The Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR)—had lost its total control over society.
But on December 13, 1981,...