Warsaw to be blocked by the protesters

Union trades organize strikes that will last for four days. Their culmination point is Saturday, when up to 100 000 people are going to march.

On September 11-14 in Warsaw, as much as 17 manifestations will take place, which are organized by trade unions and private persons. The climax will takes place on Saturday – the participation of up to 100 000 people is expected.

The protests will cause significant difficulties in traffic and public transport. Most of all, they will strike the inhabitants, who will have problems to reach their work places, schools and kindergartens, as well as to go back home. We will try to minimize them. The residents should not be dependent on the demonstrators – said the President of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz during today’s press conference.

The residents of Warsaw and the tourists will see informative spots, which will be shown on public transport’s monitors. They will inform them about the routes of the marches. Moreover, bus and tram lines will be directed to traffic diversions.

Why are the unionists paralyzing the city? We march into the streets, because there is a crisis in social dialogue – says Jan Guz, the Head of All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (Polish abbreviation: OPZZ). The protests are organized by three of the biggest trade unions: OPZZ, NSZZ “Solidarity” and Forum of Trade Unions. The action is run under “Stop disrespecting the society”. Its aim is to show the resistance to the government’s politics. There is a social crisis that is caused by the government, as it did not fulfill our suggestions and postulates. We have a very long book written down with our government’s faults and backlogs – emphasizes Jan Guz.

The unionists are making claim on low salaries and big unemployment. They also want to pay attention to the condition of education and healthcare. Promises, promises! We have been listening to them for 23 years. They say it will be better in one year, 2 years, but there is no improvement – says OPZZ’s Head.

What proposals do the protesters put forth? For example, they want a minimum hourly rate to be established, which will be valid in every kind of contract. Besides, they suggest changes in pension system and social security. They also propose a higher unemployment benefit.

On Wednesday, 20 000 protesters are predicted to picket eight Ministries, including the ones of Economy, Labour, Treasury and Health, as well as the Interior. Then, they are going to march through the Sejm, when tents will be pitched. On Thursday and Friday, the debates with experts will take place. The climax, however, is scheduled for Saturday, when a march will be joined by 100 000 unionists, according to the organizers’ assumption. There will be more people, because we do not register those of them belonging to various social or non-governmental organizations, e. g. allotment gardens, cooperative members, social agreements, political parties. We will go next to Mr. President, with a rebuke on why does he sign so easily all those bills that are bad for our country – explains Jan Guz.

The protests were announced at the end of June, when social part left Trilateral Commission after flexible work time had been introduced. 

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