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Poland

31 August 1980

Establishment of the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarność’

As the living conditions were deteriorating, 1980 began with a wave of strike actions staged by workers on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea. They demanded pay rises but also setting up trade unions that would defend workers’ rights. Workers from various sites showed mutual support and expressed similar demands. They showed solidarity, which was exactly the word used to name the first independent self-governing trade union negotiated in August 1980 with the communist authorities.

16 October 1978

Pontificate of John Paul II

13 December 1981

13 December: Martial law imposed