On the occasion of Labor Day, the Left and the National Alliance of Trade Unions in Warsaw organized a march under the slogan “Dignified work – dignified life”. – For us, the welfare state is one of the most important things and the most important postulates of the Polish left – said Włodzimierz Czarzasty, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm, to the gathered.
Reporter tvnwarszawa.pl Mateusz Szmelter reported that several hundred people had gathered in Park Świętokrzyski. – Participants listen to the speeches. There are already first traffic difficulties on Świętokrzyska Street. The right lane and the bicycle lane are occupied by service vehicles and a double-decker bus that will move at the head of the march, Szmelter said.
Left-wing politicians spoke to the gathered, including Włodzimierz Czarzasty, Adrian Zandberg and the chairman of OPZZ Piotr Ostrowski.
After 12 o’clock, the gathered set off along Świętokrzyska Street towards the OPZZ headquarters at Kopernika Street. During the march, both streets were temporarily closed to traffic.
The welfare state is the most important postulate
Deputy Marshal of the Sejm and co-chairman of the New Left, Włodzimierz Czarzasty, pointed out that in times of danger, the state should support its citizens.
– I want to say to all right-wing parties, and liberals in particular – you never respect the state, you always think that we will all manage, and there are moments in the politics of every country, in the politics of every nation, that when things are bad, entrepreneurs will not be able to cope without state institutions, if it’s bad, people won’t be able to cope without state institutions, he argued.
– For us, the welfare state is one of the most important things and the most important postulates of the Polish left – said Czarzasty and announced that his formation would not agree to the privatization and commercialization of hospitals, and also announced, among others, the construction of nurseries, kindergartens and schools, the construction of cheap apartments for rent or the fight against transport exclusion, if the Left will co-rule.
The government needs to raise public wages
The chairman of OPZZ, Piotr Ostrowski, emphasized that decent work equals fair remuneration, and current wages, as he pointed out, do not keep up with inflation.
– Workers and workers in Poland are getting poorer and poorer. Inflation eats up their income, inflation eats up their savings – said Ostrowski and emphasized that this mainly affects people working in the state budget.
The leader of the Together Party, Adrian Zandberg, accused the government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of “people who work for the Polish state, for Polish local governments, they are hammering their teeth into the wall because their salaries do not keep up with the cost of living.” “This is the responsibility of this government and that’s why this government should go,” he said.
Zandberg emphasized that his formation also remembers the rule before PiS. – We remember how those governments treated the budget system and that is why we are speaking clearly, hard and very clearly today: there will be no return to that past, there will be no return to tightening the belt on the bellies of people who work for the Polish state. It’s time for an increase in the budget, he said.
He also pointed out that the new government must raise wages in the state budget. – This is our hard condition of governing. If we are to raise our hands for the new government, there must be a government that will raise wages in the budget sector for real, not only during the election campaign, declared Zandberg.
“Good work deserves a European wage”
During the final of the march at the OPZZ headquarters, politicians referred to the 19th anniversary of Poland’s accession to the European Union, which falls on 1 May. Piotr Ostrowski pointed out that “the European Union also means many employee rights, usually those solutions that appear at the EU level are more favorable than those in force in Poland.” – As OPZZ, we demand a quick implementation of European law in the field of employee rights, in the field of social rights, in the field of social policy – he appealed and in this context he said, inter alia, on the directive on adequate minimum wages in the EU and the directive on reconciling professional roles and non-professional life, as well as solutions regarding platform workers.
Ostrowski also mentioned that not all EU solutions are beneficial for employees and in this context he mentioned the European Green Deal. – We must do everything to ensure that the changes that are taking place from the point of view of the “greening” of industry and the economy do not take place at the expense of employees – he said. – A just transition must be genuinely just. Every workplace is valuable and we must take care of every employee who will be transformed as a result of the change and transformation related to climate change – he added.
The head of the OPZZ also reminded about the Belarusian trade unionists who were convicted by the Lukashenko regime for being independent.
Robert Biedroń, MEP and co-chairman of the New Left, also said that Poland should introduce the European minimum wage as soon as possible. – A European wage is due for good work – argued Biedroń.
The left, which was also mentioned by the politician, would like to increase labor rights to the European level and provide each child with a free hot meal at school when their parents are at work. “We need to ensure that in the next government,” he said.
Biedroń reminded that the Left in the European Parliament fights for women and men to have equal rights at work. – We need to finally, finally close the wage gap. It cannot be that women who do the same work as men earn less – he emphasized and assured that this was another commitment to the future government.
Several other demonstrations are planned for May 1. You can read about the details of the difficulties on tvnwarszawa.pl.
Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter/tvnwarszawa.pl