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.
21 oktober 2003
Since its main shareholder, Daewoo of South Korea, went bankrupt in 2001, the fate of the Polish car producer, FSO-Daewoo, has hung in the balance. A deal on reducing FSO-Daewoo's debt reached with the Korean investors and Polish banks and authorities in September 2003 has now rescued the company, at least in the short term, However, the restructuring plan involves around 1,500 job losses out of a workforce of 3,000.
25 september 2003
Since the early 1990s, the once strategically important Polish armaments industry entered a period of decline, faced with shrinking domestic demand, the loss of export markets, technological backwardness and excess employment, along with only limited restructuring. However, the social partners and government have cooperated successfully in tripartite efforts to manage the reduction and restructuring of employment in the sector. In 2003 a number of developments, such as new orders and an 'offset' programme accompanying the purchase of new planes for the Polish air force, indicate that the future prospects of the arms industry may be somewhat brighter.
07 september 2003
In early August 2003, the workforce of Factory Wagon SA, a privatised Polish railway rolling-stock producer and repairer, launched strikes and other protest action, with the immediate cause being several months' arrears in wage payments. The strike ended in late August when the debt-ridden firm was declared bankrupt, opening the way for the sale of its assets and possible survival of its operations and jobs.
18 augusti 2003
July 2003 saw a wave of protests by trade unions represented at Polish National Railways (PKP) against the planned closure of loss-making local services. Faced with the unions' threat of a general rail strike, PKP management and the government agreed to cut the number of services to be axed. However, the continuing restructuring of PKP, which is facing major financial difficulties, suggests that further unrest cannot be ruled out.
03 augusti 2003
According to figures issued by Poland's State Labour Inspection in mid-2003, 310 new single-establishment collective agreements were registered in 2002, covering some 118,000 employees (most Polish collective bargaining occurs at single-employer level). The agreements' provisions primarily covered remuneration, working time and leave. Terms more favourable to employees than the legal minima are becoming less frequent in collective agreements, while there is an increasing tendency for the parties to agreements to suspend application of all or some of their provisions.
03 augusti 2003
In July 2003, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament passed a law regulating temporary agency work (approval by the upper house is to follow). Agency work has been growing in Poland in recent years, and its regulation has been debated for some time. The new legislation defines temporary agency work and lays down rules on its use and on the employment conditions of agency workers.
11 juni 2003
A package of major revisions of labour law has been coming into force gradually in Poland since its adoption in 2002. From 1 July 2003, new rules will apply to many aspects of collective redundancies, including their definition and severance pay entitlements. Furthermore, the special protection against dismissal and detrimental treatment provided to trade union activists is to be subject to new limitations.
15 april 2003
The current government is a left-wing coalition of the Democratic Left Alliance (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD), Labour Union (Unia Pracy, UP ) and Polish Peasants Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL), elected in 2001. Municipal elections were held in October/November 2002. A low turn-out (44.23%) encouraged the media to claim that society was growing tired with politics and disillusioned with the dominant political parties. Despite winning the elections (in terms of aggregate votes at national level), the ruling coalition received noticeably weaker support than in the 2001 parliamentary elections. Failing to secure a comfortable majority in most local assemblies (Sejmiks), the SLD and UP had no choice but to form alliances not only with their usual partner, PSL, but in some regions (voivodeships) also with the radical Self-Defence (Samoobrona ) party. SLD and UP candidates lost to centre and right-wing opponents in the mayoral elections in 11 out of 16 major cities, including Warsaw.  http://www.uniapracy.org.pl/  http://www.samoobrona.org.pl/
15 januari 2003
In June 2002, the Polish government launched 'First Job', a major programme aimed at combating unemployment among young people. While the Ministry of Labour's forecasts that the ranks of the unemployed would swell by more than half a million post-secondary school leavers in 2002 proved to be exaggerated, the problem of joblessness amongst young people continues to be acute. This article assesses the implementation of the programme over its first six months, which has been relatively successful.