Beyond Strikes? Regime and Repertoire of Workers’ Protests in Poland 2004–2016
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Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
Institute of Sociology, University of Warsaw
Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences
Jagiellonian University
Submission date: 2021-10-18
Acceptance date: 2022-02-07
Publication date: 2022-06-21
Polish Sociological Review 2022;218(2):169–186
There is an ongoing debate on the changes in the activity of the labour movement in Europe: whether strikes are still the dominant form of action or were they supplanted by demonstrations and civil activism. The question is urgent in countries such as Poland where the number of registered strikes is very low. We verify the hypothesis that the labour movement in Poland shifts from the labour rights to civil rights model of contention in five dimensions: the scale of protest, mobilizing structures, repertoire, claims, and addressees. To avoid pitfalls of relying on official strike data, we use protest event analysis to gather data on workers’ protest from the national press. The conclusion is that the official data on strikes does not reveal the full scope of protest but work stoppages remain the dominant form of action. Results question the reliance on the official strike data to measure labour movement activity.
This work was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland, grant numbers 2015/17/D/HS6/02710 and 2018/31/N/HS5/02781.