Poland: Fighting for an Idea, A Farmers' Union


Toward a farmers' union—and new headaches for Warsaw

After eight months of determined struggle, marked by protest demonstrations, sit-ins and even threats of mass crop strikes, Poland's private farmers last week finally won the promise of legal recognition for Rural Solidarity, the 800,000-member independent agricultural union. The unprecedented agreement, signed by government negotiators and peasant leaders at an emotional ceremony in the northwestern city of Bydgoszcz, called for the union's registration by May 10.

A parliamentary commission had recommended legalizing the farm union ealier in the week, but last-minute quibbles delayed the agreement for...

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