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Workers from historic Gdansk shipyard head for Brussels

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Workers from Poland's historic Gdansk Shipyard intend to picket European Commission headquarters in Brussels Friday to protest EU plans which could slash production at the yard, Polish Radio reported Wednesday. Around 100 shipyard workers are expected to rally in front of the European Commission building in Brussels just before noon Friday.

As the 1980 cradle of the anti-communist Solidarity trade union, the Gdansk Shipyard has played a pivotal role in modern Polish history.

Under the leadership of shipyard electrician Lech Walesa, Solidarity blossomed into a 10-million strong trade union, the first and only such independent organisation in the entire Soviet bloc.

Despite the December 1981 Martial Law crackdown on the movement by Poland's communist party, Solidarity eventually negotiated a peaceful end to communism in Poland in 1989. This, in turn, hailed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Last week the European Commission moved a step closer to deciding the yard's fate as experts began assessing a Polish proposal to save the troubled facility.

The Commission has called into question the level of public subsidies the Polish government has pumped into Poland's shipyard industry to keep it afloat.

Sorry, this is the Financial Times story, and cannot be displayed in full on Gdansk-online.eu.
Source: the Financial Times

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