By August Grabski
About 10,000 workers demonstrated on 19 May in Warsaw, organised by the OPZZ (the former Communist trade union) and the trade union Solidarity 80.
The unions demanded an increase in a minimum wage, early retirement for employees working in unhealthy conditions and severe punishments for employers breaching the Labour Code. The largest delegation were sent by the miners’ unions from Upper Silesia (south-western Poland)
The march went to the parliament where a delegation of trade unionists gave a petition to the president of the parliament Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
Then it went to the government building to meet the Deputy Prime Minister, Izabela Jaruga Nowacka. However, when a few fireworks were thrown in her direction she was escorted away by soldiers.
The demonstration finished outside the headquarters of the Union of Private Employers ˆ Lewiatan — in English, Leviathan. When a representative of the Leviathan wanted to deliver a speech to workers, he was shouted down. Workers shouted: “Parasites. Thieves”. A figurine of the president of the Leviathan, Henryka Bochniarz, was burned.