From InfiniteLoom
Jump to: navigation, search

Background (a reporter's account first published in 1983, during repression)

"Solidarity represented an attempt by Polish society to organize itself as a separate and self-governing entity outside the state. This was the basis of its famous "self-limiting" character, reflecting an awareness that the Soviets would not tolerate a threat to the state itself. It almost worked . . . " (excerpt from summary)

"The Gdansk Agreement, the Agreement signed the day before in Szcezecin, and that signed on 3 September with the miners' MKS in Jastrzebie came to be known as the 'social accords'. They laid, it was hoped, the foundations for a new social contract" (Ash 74)

"In the Gdansk text . . . the people were promised a choice of trades unions: they could join the new, self-governing unions 'that would genuinely represent the working class', or the old (state run) unions that would continue to exist alongside them. The right to strike was to be guaranteed in a new Trades Unions Act. The new unions for their part agreed to recognize the 'leading role' of the Party 'in the state'. . . . By specifying 'in the state' the strikers' advisers meant to stress that the Party had no role at all to play inside the new unions, only in the state around them" (Ash 74)