Solidarity (Polish trade union)

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"Solidarity (Trade union)" redirects here. For the South African trade union, see Solidarity (South African trade union).

Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność, pronounced [sɔliˈdarnɔɕtɕ]  ( listen); full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union "Solidarity"Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy "Solidarność" [ɲezaˈlɛʐnɨ samɔːˈʐɔndnɨ ˈzvjɔ̃zɛk zavɔːˈdɔvɨ sɔliˈdarnɔɕtɕ]) is a Polish trade union federation founded in September 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyard, and originally led by Lech Wałęsa.

Solidarity was the first non-communist party-controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country.[citation needed] In the 1980s it constituted a broad anti-bureaucratic social movement. The government attempted to destroy the union during the period of martial law in the early 1980s and several years of political repression, but in the end it was forced to start negotiating with the union.

The Round Table Talks between the government and the Solidarity-led opposition led to semi-free elections in 1989. By the end of August a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed and in December 1990 Wałęsa was elected President of Poland. Since then it has become a more traditional, liberal trade union.


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