Polish farmers jubilant: union OK'd

The Bydgoszcz farmers were home for Easter, heartened by victory and a government pledge of legislation by May 10 to allow registration of their union.

Up to 100 of them had maintained a sit-in occupation of the local headquarters of the Peasant Party -- one of the coalition groups in the communist majority Sejm (parliament) -- since March 16.

The farmers protested the regime's refusal to allow them a union with full legal and independent status like Solidarity.

After a nightlong session ending in the early hours of April 17, they signed an agreement with a government negotiator that guarantees that a new trade union law, together with an amendment authorizing Rural Solidarity, will be legislated early next month. It was a significant U-turn by the party leadership. Earlier it barred a farmers' trade union as a strongly Catholic potential political movement, which, it feared, could build up into an opposition like the powerful prewar Peasant Party.

In a steadily worsening food situation, however -- in a country which depends on 3 million private peasant farmers for three-quarters of its food -- the government finally realized it had no alternative but to give them what they wanted.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK