Trade Unions and Employee Interest Articulation After Socialism
4. Overview of Labour Protest in 1989–2011
The main thread of the book is the dynamic of labour protests: how they originated, what they achieved under the former system, which elements (methods, demands, mobilization strategies) were replicated in the new system, and how effective they were. At the beginning of the transformation, Poland had a substantial tradition of strikes and labour unrest. This legacy was instrumental in bringing about the systemic change. The purpose of the empirical part of the book is to show how unions faced the challenges transformation posed for them and their members. This chapter is the first in of the sequence of analyses constituting the core empirical section of the book. It contains an overview of union protest events taking place in Poland in the years 1989–2011. All events of spontaneous, non-conventional activity in the whole country are included in the analysis. Such a sweeping statement has to be made with several caveats. First of all, the employed method of data collection registers events that were recorded in the public domain: in national newspapers. Secondly, the working definition of an event is fairly broad. It follows a “wide net” philosophy, trying to capture all events at the risk of including those which may imperfectly match it, rather than aiming at empirical purity. Detailed description of methodology is contained in the annex.
Two measures are used to gauge the magnitude of protest activity: the number of protest events, and the number of days of protest. Duration...
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