this essay is about solidarity, a trade union in poland which was one of the reasons the soviet union collapsed. 

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  • Created by: Natty Gee
  • Created on: 06-05-12 07:05

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Solidarity was important, but only in Poland
Yes, Solidarity was important in Poland.
Solidarity was Established in September of 1980 at the Gdansk Shipyards by Lech Walesa,
after the increase of meet prices
It was an independent trade union, which was a big opposition of the Communist party *and
which at the end added to the eventual fall of Soviet union and was a catalyst freeing Poland
from a repressive communist satellite to the EU member democracy it is today.
Solidarity was the PREURSOR of spreading anti communist ideas to the rest of the communist
block gaining the support of politics in other countires and organization as NATO.
Solidairty was important to Poland as it was the first significant trade union, which was very
popular among people at that time, having even 30 % of communist party members joining it.
This shows, that even the communist people had little faith in the leaders of the country People
trusted it more than the government,
On August 16th, several other strike committees joined the Gdansk shipyard workers and the
following day 21 demands of the unified strike committee were put forward. These demands
were calling for the legal formation of independent trade unions, an end to media censorship, the
right to strike, new rights for the Church, the freeing of political prisoners, and improvements in
the national health system.
The movement's newssheet, Solidarnosc, began being printed on the shipyard printing press
at a run of 30,000 copies.
The demands were accepted which was a big surprise to the world, which questioned itself why
did the Communist party allow this happening. It was the first situation of that kind.
This agreement, known as the Gdansk Agreement, became recognised as the first step in
dismantling Soviet power. Achieving the right to form labour unions independent of Communist
Party control, and the right to strike, workers' concerns would now receive representation.
More people joined solidanosc making it even a stronger organisation and in January 1981 it
reached its peak, having 9.4 million members.
Solidarity gained international suuport and media coverage, which made it possible to hold out
longer than other organisations of that kind.
Having the support of a quarter of Poland's population which became members (with 80 %
workforce) Solidarity slowly transformed from a trade union to a full on revolutionary
Solidarity was getting more important to the world as it's existence was getting more and more
remarkable to countries outside Poland, who thought, that such an organization could never
break through the Communist regime.
The only way the Communist Party could stay in power, was to use brute force, to keep the
striking people calm. In December 1981, Wojciech Jaruzelski arrested Lech Walesa and
10,000 other activists, introducing martial Law

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During that time borders were sealed, airports were closed and road access to main cities was
restricted. Travel between cities required permission. Telephone lines were disconnected. Mail
was subject to censorship. All trade union and other independent organizations were
delegalized. All TV and radio transmissions were suspended (except one government TV
channel and one government radio station). Public administration, health services, power
generation stations, coal mines, sea ports, train stations, and most of the key factories were
placed under military management.…read more


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