11 augusti 2004
In summer 2004, strikes appear to be looming in large parts of the Polish coal-mining industry, with disputes at various companies centred on pay increases and the contents of new collective agreements. Miners are basing demands for higher wages on the sound financial results being posted by the mines in 2004, although how long the current favourable trend in the world's coal markets will last remains an open issue. The need to draw up new collective agreements, meanwhile, arises from the current restructuring process in the sector.
03 augusti 2004
Agriculture, which employs more than 4 million people (nearly a third of all those in employment), constitutes an important segment of the Polish economy and labour market. Despite this, organisations assembling agricultural workers are not directly represented in national social dialogue institutions, though this has not prevented them from repeatedly demonstrating their power to mobilise protests. This article examines the development of agricultural and farmers' unions and the situation as of summer 2004.
08 juli 2004
As Poland joins the EU on 1 May 2004, its labour market situation remains difficult and unemployment is high, as is the case in a number of other new Member States. This may have contributed to fears in the 'old' EU 15 of a post-enlargement influx of cheap labour and people seeking social security benefits, and to the decision by most governments to apply transitional periods before fully opening their labour markets to citizens of the new Member States. However, studies conducted in Poland and elsewhere suggest that these fears are exaggerated. This article examines the situation and the views of the Polish social partners.
14 juni 2004
The ruling left-wing coalition of the Democratic Left Alliance (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD ), the Labour Union (Unia Pracy, UP ) and the Polish Peasants Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL ), which came to power after the 2001 parliamentary elections, split up in March 2003. The PSL left the government of Prime Minister Leszek Miller and the SLD-UP coalition continued in office as a minority government. However, a number of independent deputies backed the government in numerous important votes.  http://www.sld.org.pl/  http://www.uniapracy.org.pl/  http://www.psl.org.pl/
06 juni 2004
An Act regarding the promotion of employment and labour market institutions was passed by the Polish parliament in April 2004 and started to come into force on 1 May. The new legislation deals with the state’s duties with respect to fostering employment, assuaging the impact of unemployment and 'activating' unemployed people. An important role in the achieving these objectives is envisaged for the social partners. Adoption of the Act marks the latest step towards harmonisation of Polish legislation with EU law in this area.
09 maj 2004
During 2003 and the early months of 2004, there has been considerable industrial relations tension at Polish National Railways (PKP). On several occasions, disputes about the restructuring of regional rail services have brought trade unions close to calling a sector-wide general strike. In May 2004, it seems unlikely that the full subsidies promised for regional services will be paid out, entailing the closure of some services and setting off a fresh wave of union protests.
02 december 2003
In October 2003, another set of changes to the Polish Labour Code were adopted by parliament - the latest in a series of rounds of amendments in recent years. The primary objective of the new amendments is further harmonisation of Polish labour legislation with the relevant EU law. The most important issues addressed include sick leave, fixed-term employment contracts, working time, annual and childcare leave, harassment, bullying and the employment of minors.
11 november 2003
November 2003 is due to see considerable labour unrest across Poland. A general strike at Polish State Railways (PKP) is due to start on 13 November, while a 24-hour warning strike will be staged in the mining industry on 17 November and a protest by healthcare workers is scheduled to start one day later. Finally, between 7 and 26 November, the NSZZ Solidarność trade union will hold 'protest days' around the country.
11 november 2003
In October 2003, the lower house of the Polish parliament approved a set of amendments to the Labour Code, which include a number of new provisions , in line with EU law, aimed at ensuring equal treatment and preventing discrimination at work. A notable change is the recognition of the issue of sexual harassment, which is defined, made illegal and expressly prohibited.
29 oktober 2003
In autumn 2003, protests by workers and trade unions are continuing against the Polish government's plans for the restructuring of the coal mining industry. The programme includes the closure of four mines in the Silesia region. The government has given assurances that there will be no redundancies as a result of the mine closures, but these declarations have met with distrust. Protests reached a head in September with a violent demonstration in Warsaw.