Labour relations in Poland

This seminar is aimed at works council members who are, or will be involved with Polish subsidiaries or Polish delegates (with simultaneous interpretation).

16 - 18 September 2024 in Gdańsk

Poland is the most important EU country in Eastern Europe and its economy is closely interconnected with Western Europe. For this reason, Polish delegates can be found in more than half of all European works councils. In addition to an introduction to the Polish system of employee representation, there will be an opportunity to find out about current developments following the change of government.

Since 13 December 2023, Poland has had a pro-European centre-left government under Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who previously held this office from 2007 to 2014. His liberal-conservative policies at the time sparked protests over social cuts, which was one of the reasons for the electoral success of the national-conservative PiS party, which came to power in November 2015. It expanded the welfare state and dismantled democracy.

In October 2021, the Constitutional Court, from which all members who were not close to the government had previously been removed, declared the primacy of Polish law over European law. This de facto withdrawal of Poland from the EU legal community is now to be reversed. It is one of the key points of the coalition agreement, which consists of just 13 pages. Courts, public prosecutors, the media and universities are to be independent and free from political pressure.

The new government is committed to social dialogue between trade unions and employers and wants to extend social benefits for families, the disabled, relatives of people in need of care and pensioners. The minister of labour and social affairs is Agnieszka Ewa Dziemianowicz-Bąk from Wrocław, from the left-wing Razem party (similar to Podemos in Spain), who became known throughout Poland for women's demonstrations against the toughening of abortion laws.

Seminar programme

Monday, 16 September 2024, 9 am to 5 pm

Romuald Jagodziñski, Gdańsk

Long-time research associate at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in Brussels and consultant and trainer for European works councils and trade unions in Poland since 2022

  • Fundamentals of the Polish system of industrial relations

Dr Max Brändle, Warsaw

Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung office in Poland

  • The current situation after the change of government and planned changes in labour and social law


Tuesday, 17 September 2024, 9 am to 5 pm

Case studies: Presentation by two EWC members from Poland

Rafał Chojecki, Warsaw

Chairman of the Polish Works Council and member of the SE Works Council of Airbus



Piotr Olbryś, Poznań

Chairman of the NSZZ trade union "Solidarność" at the Volkswagen plant



Wednesday, 18 September 2024, 9 am - 5 pm

Visit to the head office of the Solidarność trade union confederation.

Dr Robert Szewczyk

Member of the Board of Management for International Affairs and European Works Councils


Followed by a visit to the neighbouring museum, the European Solidarity Centre, which is located on the site of the Gdańsk shipyard. The Gdańsk shipyard's occupational health and safety hall was the founding and meeting place of the inter-enterprise strike committee in 1980.





Seminar fee: 1.745.- € plus VAT and accommodation
The price includes conference participation, interpretation (English - Polish), all meals and the social event.

Venue: Hanza Hotel
ul. Tokarska 6
80-888 Gdańsk

Price: 590.- zł (approx. 140.- €)
per night incl. breakfast and VAT
excl. city tax

The seminar hotel is located in the heart of the historic old town on the Motława river promenade, right next to the medieval Crane, Gdańsk's landmark. Most of the rooms offer a magnificent view of the marina and the passing ships.

Arrival: Sunday evening, 15 September 2024
Departure: Wednesday evening, 18 September 2024

Getting there: Gdańsk has the third largest airport in Poland with many direct connections abroad.










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