Trade unionist, Disaster victim
1929 – 2010
Who was Anna Walentynowicz?
Anna Walentynowicz was a Polish free trade union activist. Her firing in August 1980 was the event that ignited the strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk that very quickly paralyzed the Baltic coast and a giant wave of strikes in Poland. The Interfactory Strike Committee [MKS] based in the Gdańsk shipyard eventually transformed itself into Solidarity trade union, of which she became a prominent member. By September more than million workers were on strike in support of the twenty one demands, making it the largest strike ever. Walentynowicz, whose name became synonymous with the strike became an organizing slogan [Bring Anna Walentynowicz Back to Work!] in the early days of the Gdansk strike, is now widely regarded as "mother of independent Poland."
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