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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » November 19, 2008
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Unionists Occupy Tusk's Constituency Office
November 19, 2008   
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About 30 members of the radical Sierpień 80 (August 80) labor union occupied Prime Minister Donald Tusk's constituency office in Warsaw Nov. 12-14, protesting against a government proposal to modify Poland's pension system, plans that will deprive many employees of their right to early retirement. The unionists clamored to talk with Tusk and said they were ready "to wait as long as it takes" for him to arrive. They also demanded an increase in the minimum national wage and criticized the government's proposals for the healthcare system and the shipbuilding and fisheries sectors.

Tusk declined to meet with the unionists in person. Instead the protesters were invited to come to talks in which the government was to be represented by five deputy ministers, but the unionists turned down the invitation.

The unionists eventually vacated the premises Nov. 14 after Tusk's constituency office was shut down at the request of Interior Minister Grzegorz Schetyna. But they appealed to other unions to hold an all-out strike nationwide together Dec. 8.
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