Śląsk downs tools in general strike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hospital patients faced lengthy waiting times as health workers in Śląsk joined a 100,000-strong general strike in protest against government policy.

The staff at some 20 Silesian hospitals operated a strict work to rule policy on the morning of March 26, forcing new patients in need of treatment to wait longer than usual. Public transport users were also hit when workers on trams, buses and trains downed tools between 8am and 10am. Students at the University of Silesia were given the day off, and schools were also hit – though strike organisers say their actions were felt at 150 schools, compared to 75 reported by the local education authorities.

Work at steel mills and mines was halted for up to four hours, and rallies were held in cities around the region, including Katowice and Sosnowiec, the latter being one of the hardest hit by the closure of the Fiat factory in Tychy.

The strike was organised by Solidarity, OPZZ, the trade union forum (Forum Związków Zawodowych) and Sierpień 80.

They are protesting  against new employment law, which limit the rights of employees and cut overtime payments. The strikers are also unhappy about health and education changes which they say put burdens which should be borne by the state onto ordinary workers.

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