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Poland: Rallies Against Government

Published: September 12, 2013; 15:39 · (Vindobona)

Around 20,000 persons took part in a rally against the government organized by the country’s three largest trade unions: Solidarity, the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ) and the Trade Unions Forum.

Poland: Rallies Against Government / Picture: © Vindobona.org

The protests are aimed against the government’s labor and social policy. In regard to the reform of the pension system carried out recently, the Trade Unions demand, among other things, higher pensions and wages. The lists of demands were left with eight ministries before the protesters approached the parliamentary building. During the weekend, more than 100,000 protesters are expected to join the demonstrations.

The demonstrators call for the cancellation of a draft on flexible working hours by the lower house Sejm. According to the unionists the draft is scandalous and will not help increase employment”. The unions reject the so-called “junk” employment contracts where no social security is granted and claim an increase in minimum wage. Furthermore they demand a change to the healthcare system and the pension age to remain at 60 for women and at 65 for men instead of 67 years for either.

"We gathered here to protest against this inhuman government," OPZZ leader Jan Guz said before the Paliament building to loud cheering. "There will be no more support. We came to demand our rights as workers."

According to a survey by MillwardBrown, the majority of Polish citizens support the protests: 59 percent of people questionned were in favor while 31 percent are aginst the anti-government rallies.