Friday, February 25, 2011
Poland to Wisconsin: Stand for Workers
Poland’s Solidarność Union Tells Wisconsin Workers: “Your Victory is Our Victory as Well”
Washington, DC — In a remarkable expression of international solidarity among working men and women, the president of “Solidarność” (“Solidarity”) – the Polish trade union whose determination and courage led to the fall of the Iron Curtain – has written an open letter in support of the public employees of Wisconsin.
Piotr Duda, president of Solidarność, said the 700,000 members of the Polish union wished “to express our solidarity and support for your struggle against the recent assault on trade unions and trade union rights unleashed by Governor Scott Walker.”
The letter is printed as a full-page advertisement in today’s issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Dear Friends,” Duda’s letter continues, “please rest assured that our thoughts are with you during your protest, as we truly do hope that your just fight for decent working and living conditions, for the workers’ rights will be successful.”
“Your victory is our victory as well,” he said.
In the early 1980s, Solidarność persisted against great odds to win collective bargaining rights from the communist government of Poland. The union’s leader, Lech Walesa, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1981. He was elected President of Poland after the country secured its freedom.
The letter was sent to AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee with a request that it be conveyed to “Public Service Workers in the State of Wisconsin.” Download the open letter as a PDF.