Solidarity Trade Union Committee at the Polish Ocean Lines in Gdynia

Solidarity Trade Union Committee at the Polish Ocean Lines in Gdynia

While researching the holdings of the Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność” we can find the documentation of the Solidarity Trade Union Committee at the Polish Ocean Lines in 1980-1989. The selected documents begin with an appeal by the General Staff Committee at the Polish Ocean Lines to support the Solidarity Trade Union. The appeal encourages to make proposals which may be taken care of by the trade union and to start a discussion on the candidates for representatives of the Polish Ocean Lines in the new trade union.

The Solidarity by-laws are included, followed by documents related to strikes. They begin with a protest filed by the President of the Board of the Solidarity Trade Union in the Polish Ocean Lines, Jacek Cegielski, against threats addressed to workers on strike made by Director Janusz Karkosiński. Also included is the Trade Union Committee announcement of November the 6th, 1981, related to trade unions established to compete with the Solidarity Trade Union. It is recalled that under the statutes of the Solidarity Trade Union it is not allowed to join other trade unions at the same time. The announcement is followed by the resolution of the Trade Union Committee on the readiness to strike, in relation to events which took place in March 1981 in Bydgoszcz.

The next document is an excerpt from the trade union bulletin published in the Polish Ocean Lines, containg resolutions of the Trade Union Committee, a choice of communications and announcements, as well as information of the financial report and on the received donatons. The Trade Union Committee informs about entrusting the role of the “Gdańsk” ship’s godmother to Danuta Wałęsa.

There is a choice of documents related to social and welfare conditions, beginning with a recommendation by the Gdansk Region Management Board dated July the 27th, 1981, advising that meat coupons should not be accepted as negotiations with the government are underway.  The next document is a guide to social benefits for the Polish Ocean Lines’ employees, dated 1980. The guide enumerates benefits available for employees, their families, and pensioners, such as organization of leisure activities (holiday packages, sports), individual housing allocations, dwelling loans, healthcare, childcare, financial support, allotments, and death in service benefits for families. It is followed by the resolution on basic wages for crew members, effective as of October the 1st, 1980.

Also presented is the 1984 letter written by Captain Kubicki to President of the Society of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy, in which he refuses to accept the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. Captain Kubicki justifies his decision by his Solidarity activities, his disapproval of measures undertaken by the authorities, and the unequal treatment of many distinguished captains.

The last document (dated April 1989) is an announcement by the Primate’s Social Council issued for the Solidarity Trade Union units at the Polish Ocean Lines. The Council encourages Catholics to serve the society the best way they could, in terms of forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Visit us at the in the Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność”.

Those interested in the above described documents and in our other archival materials are kindly invited to make use of our holdings in our Reading Room of the Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność” at Wały Piastowskie 24. They are accessible from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 15:30. Please let us know in advance about your planned visit either by phone +48 (58) 308-43-92, +48 (58) 308-44-20, +48 (58) 308-43-83 or at .

/Iwona Flis, Stanisław Flis Foundation “Pomerania Archives”,
document selection – Łukasz Grochowski and Kamil Kaliszuk, Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność”/