Historic agreement signed 41 years ago undermined communism

The Jastrzębie-Zdrój Agreement, previously known as the July Manifesto, was signed at the Zofiówka Mine 41 years ago on September 3, 1980, which formalised agreements reached just days before between the communist government and the striking workers in Szczecin and Gdańsk.

In addition to the Polish Coast agreements, the miners who went on strike in Jastrzębie-Zdrój achieved the removal of the four-brigade work arrangement in the mines and a promise of free Saturdays and Sundays.

A number of social and living needs, including the inclusion of pneumoconiosis on a list of occupational diseases, were also agreed upon by the government officials.

“Above all, it was a fight for dignity, a walk for freedom, and a battle to break free from Soviet communist enslavement,” said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

They formed the cornerstone of changes, restoring subjectivity to Polish society and sovereignty to the country,” emphasises Archbishop Wiktor Skworc, the Metropolitan of Katowice.

The accords reached at the time, as well as the events of 1980, marked the beginning of the end for communism.