Solidarity / Solidarność is a Polish trade union that emerged on 31 August 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyard under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa. It was the first non-Communist Party-controlled trade union in Poland and indeed any Warsaw Pact country.
Random facts about Solidarity:
- At its height, Solidarity membership reached up to 10 million members, which is approximately one third of the total working age population of Poland.
- The USA provided significant financial support for Solidarity during the 1980s. This funding is thought to have been as much as 50 million US dollars.
- Solidarity supported the UK miner’s strike in 1984 and 1985.
- Lech Walesa was chairman of Solidarnosc between 1980 and 1990.