Solidarity: A Peaceful Revolution

Effectively

The agreement was signed

The strikers managed change with a SENSE OF PARTNERSHIP, in OPENNESS TO DIALOGUE The long and tough negotiations between the workers’ representatives and the communist authorities took almost two weeks. They were about changes not just in one plant but across the whole country.

Owing to the determination of the strikers and the solidarity of the protesting plants, consent was secured to establish trade unions independent of the communist authorities. That October, the NSZZ Solidarność Independent Self-Governing Trade Union was registered, as the first such grassroots organisation in the Eastern Bloc.

Lech Wałęsa addressed the crowd on the other side of the gate after the Gdańsk Agreement was signed at the BHP Hall on 31 August:

At last, we have independent, self-governing trade unions! We have the right to strike! And we will establish more rights soon.

The people were overjoyed!