General secretary Dave Prentis wrote to Polish union federation OPZZ today to offer UNISON’s solidarity as Polish workers start a week of protests to defend union rights.
Mr Prentis said he was sending a message of solidarity and support to OPZZ – the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions – “and the whole of the Polish trade union movement for the demonstrations you will hold this week against your government’s attacks on trade union rights.”
The Warsaw government plans to end direct deduction of union membership fees from pay and remove funding of recognised unions by employerrs.
“We regret that the Polish government has tried to by-pass the legal structures of tripartite social partnership, which is against both Polish industrial relations law and the European social model,” wrote Mr Prentis.
“None of these measures will enhance the rights of ordinary Polish employees in the workplace or improve their standard of living; rather they will represent a fundamental shift in favour of employers and towards a deregulated labour market.
“Unfortunately the Polish government is not acting on its own,” he added. “We are witnessing an unprecedented attack on the rights of trade unions and employees across Europe.
“That is why we feel it is important that you know you have the solidarity of UNISON and the British trade union movement.”