30 October 2005
September-October 2005 saw both a parliamentary election and a presidential election in Poland. This article examines the role of trade unions and employers' organisations in the elections. While they did not actively involve themselves in the electoral process, some of their members ran for elected office, in some cases successfully, on behalf of many parties, and the governing bodies of various social partner organisations expressed clear preferences in both elections .
05 September 2005
The collective dispute between the executive board and the trade unions at Śrubex, a screw manufacturer in the Polish city of Łańcut, has just been concluded with an agreement between the parties concerned. The agreement provides that redundancies to be effected at Śrubex will extend to less jobs than originally planned; in return, the employees agreed to abandon their demands for wage increases.
11 August 2005
In July 2005, Polish coal industry trade unions organised a demonstration in front of the parliament buildings in Warsaw. The unions sought to persuade parliament to devote the last session of its current term to securing the early retirement rights of miners. The pressure seemed effective, as parliament voted in favour of the unions’ demands.
27 July 2005
In July 2005, the lower house of the Polish parliament approved new rules for adjusting the national minimum wage, whereby it will increase by forecast inflation plus two-thirds of the GDP growth rate, until it reaches half of the national average wage. Trade unions are pleased with the decision, but employers' organisations are opposed, arguing that it will only foster high unemployment. At the same time, the government is seeking to introduce an alternative scheme whereby the net value of the minim wage will be increased by cuts in tax and social contributions.
04 July 2005
By virtue of the amendment to the Old Age and Disability Pension Act, passed by the Sejm on 17 June, the benefits valuation indicator is going to be fixed annually by way of negotiations on the forum of the Trilateral Commission, regardless of the inflation rate, which is currently the basis for negotiating the valuation indicator. If the amendment gains approval of the upper house of parliament (the Senate) and the President, it will enter into force
25 May 2005
This article gives a brief overview of the industrial relations aspects of the topic of unskilled workers and unskilled work in Poland, as of February 2005. It looks at: national definitions of unskilled workers or work; the number of unskilled workers and workers in unskilled jobs, and the extent of unskilled work; employment and unemployment among unskilled workers; the regulatory framework; trade union organisation among unskilled workers; pay and conditions; recent initiatives to improve the situation of unskilled workers; and the views of trade unions and employers' organisations on the issue and its implications for collective bargaining.
13 April 2005
As part of the restructuring of Polish National Railways (PKP), regional rail services are being reorganised and are supposed to come under the jurisdiction of regional governments, thus being divided into 16 separate companies. This plan is strongly opposed by railway trade unions, which organised protests in 2004 and early 2005. An agreement was signed in February 2005 by the government and unions, suspending the establishment of regional rail companies, but the conflict has not been resolved.
29 November 2004
Late 2004 has seen an upsurge in demands for pay increases by Polish employees in sectors such as the metal-processing, coal-mining, petroleum, automotive, and food industries. Trade unions generally advance the same argument in support of their demands, namely that workers too should benefit from a recent improvement in the economic climate. Employers are very circumspect in addressing these demands, warning that over-hasty spending of the fruits of economic growth may lead to a reduction of investments and thus endanger the very growth that is now fuelling employee demands.
03 November 2004
In autumn 2004, Poland's First Job programme has been in operation for over two years. Its principal objectives are the vocational activation of young people and facilitating their entry into the labour market. The programme's track record indicates that, in spite of numerous difficulties, these basic objectives are being furthered. The steps taken to date were endorsed by audit proceedings carried out by the Supreme Chamber of Control (NIK) and published in May 2004.
03 October 2004
In September 2004, Poland's three main central trade union organisations issued a joint declaration criticising the government's draft national budget for 2005, arguing that is not in line with the legitimate expectations of society at large.