Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Solidarity with Solidariność

19 November 1980
BG D17/603

In 1980 there were at least 20.000 residents of Polish parentage living in Sweden. Sweden was one of Poland’s most important partners in Northern Europe, politically, economically and culturally. From the beginning, the Trade Union Confederation of Sweden (LO) supported the Polish initiative to establish a free trade union in a communist state, Solidariność. The LO President sent a telex on
19 November 1980 to Solidariność, stating that 'the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, its national trade unions, and its two million members, note with much satisfaction Solidarity’s successes.' LO was ready to offer the Swedish social model as a prototype for the fellow trade union movement seeking a new route out of an economic and ideological crisis. But Swedish solidarity and help were not always tailored to the Polish needs, as Klaus Misgeld points out in A Complicated Solidarity. The Swedish Labour Movement and Solidariność (IISH Research Paper no 45, 2010).