Demoncratic Institutions of Industrial Relations: A Polish Perspective

This essay addresses three issues. The author first describes the major features of the previous Polish industrial relations system which caused it to be undemocratic. He then presents arguments justifying the need for a democracy in industrial relations in Poland. Second, the indispensable premises and elements of three basic democratic institutions of industrial relations are identified: trade union freedom, collective bargaining and the right to strike. These elements were selected for analysis on the basis of international legal instruments, in particular, conventions of the International Labor Organization (“ILO”), as well as U.S. and West European labor legislation. The author then shows the significance of these three basic democratic institutions in the Polish labor context. Finally, the author analyzes the problems and difficulties of introducing democratic collective bargaining and the right to strike into Polish labor relations.