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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » November 12, 2008
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Labor Unions Stage Protest
November 12, 2008   
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The country's three largest trade unions-the All-Poland Trade Union Alliance (OPZZ), Solidarity and the Trade Unions' Forum (FZZ)-staged a demonstration Nov. 5 in front of the Prime Minister's Office. Several thousand people turned up for the demonstration, most of them representing occupational groups which are to lose the right to "bridge pensions," or early retirement, under government-proposed legislation.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he respected the right of trade unionists to protest, but added that the government was not going to give in only because "someone is shouting loudly."

The draft law on "bridge pensions," which is now in parliament, limits the number of people entitled to early retirement from around 1 million to fewer than 250,000. Among those who are to lose this entitlement are teachers, railway workers and journalists. Under the draft, only people born after Jan. 1, 1948 who until Jan. 1, 1999 worked for at least 15 years in special conditions or in jobs of a special nature would be entitled to "bridge pensions." A woman has to turn 55 and a man 60 to get a "bridge pension."

Parliamentary committees have made changes to the draft to offer compensation to those who would lose the right to early retirement.
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