The fight continues – a summary of our actions in 2022

The fight continues – a summary of our actions in 2022

It has been a difficult year for employees around the world – the last 12 months have been dominated by inflation, war, the government's anti-labour policies and many regulations harmful to workers. But at the same time, our trade union grew rapidly. In 2022, about...

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We demand more extensive right to strike!

We demand more extensive right to strike!

We call for the extension of the constitutional right to workers' strikes. Pursuant to Art. 59 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, point 3 "Trade unions shall have the right to organize workers' strikes or other forms of protest subject to limitations...

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Związkowa Alternatywa (The Alternative Union) is a nationwide trade union federation that brings together both individuals and trade unions.

The Alternative Union is a grassroots initiative that wants to bring a new quality to the Polish trade union movement. We were established in June 2019, and since then we are active in all industry sectors and all over the country. The management board of the organization consists of two people, chairperson Piotr Szumlewicz and vice-chairperson Monika Żelazik. The same number of members sits in the audit committee: Piotr Gołąbek and Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat.

Our organization was created to fight mass labour rights violations, the gigantic scale of “junk contracts” along with employment instability, huge income inequalities, low wages in the budget and self-government sectors. 

We want to rebuild trust in trade unions and that is why we are a transparent, dynamic, open, and progressive trade union federation. To meet the expectations of the modern world, we take on the issues that so far have been neglected by trade unions. One of the important areas of our activity is a fight against mobbing and discrimination in the workplace.

We are also tackling the scourge of the Polish labour market, which is the late payment of wages and the illegal imposition of non-permanent contracts. That’s why we are calling for the mandatory interest rate for late payment of wages at 0.5% of outstanding pay per day. We demand the elimination of non-standard contracts wherever statutory criteria for full-time employment are met. We are also pushing for 2.5 times higher wages for working on Sundays and holidays than for working on weekdays.

We are a fully transparent trade union and we are in favour of payroll disclosure. Nor are we afraid to talk about the dysfunctions present in trade unions. We founded a new trade union organization because we are concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Polish trade union movement. In our opinion, trade unions in Poland should be stronger but also should take on more responsibilities. That is why we are presenting a new framework for the functioning of the trade union movement. We believe that full-time unionists should have the same rights as labour inspectors and the whole economy should be covered by industry collective bargaining agreements.

We want to unify those segments of the labour market where, until now, trade unions did not exist like security, caretakers, or catering. In this field, the key challenge for us is to reach out to dispersed workers, to unify them, and to provide them with institutional assistance.

We are also very critical towards the current government and strongly oppose cronyism, nepotism, mismanagement in state-owned companies and public institutions as well as the destruction of the rule of law.

Trade Union Objectives

Związkowa Alternatywa


To establish a minimum remuneration in the amount of at least 50% of the average wage.
To increase wages in the public and self-government sector.
To introduce higher wages for working on Sundays and public holidays than for working on weekdays across all industry sectors and throughout the whole country.

To abolish the unpaid internship. All internships should be subject to the Labour Code, including the obligation to pay all the interns at least the minimum remuneration.

Reducing the weekly working time.
Extending vacation leave.
Extending meal breaks included in the working time.
To strictly enforce the principle that when the place and time of work are specified along with subordination to reporting lines, the employer is obliged to employ based on an employment contract regardless of the parties’ will.
To introduce severe penalties for employers that evade their obligation of hiring based on the employment contracts. The National Labour Inspectorate should have the right to determine the nature of the employment relationship.
To create a list of professions in case of which civil-law contracts should be absolutely prohibited due to safety reasons.
To improve work safety and reduce workplace accidents.
To introduce the obligation to hire based on an employment contract in case of public procurements.
To reduce the maximum duration of fixed-term employment contracts.
To increase the statutory interest rate for late payment in case of all types of contracts and making them mandatory.
To grant full-time trade unionists all the competences of inspectors of the National Labour Inspectorate. To make full-time trade unionists a seconded part of the National Labour Inspectorate.
To radically increase the spending on the National Labour Inspectorate and create uniformed services and the prosecution department within Labour Inspectorate, which would take swift action against employers that violate labor law in a particularly violent manner.
To broaden the scope of the collective labour dispute, simplifying strike procedures and paying workers wages for the duration of the strike.
To introduce the possibility of donating 1% of the tax to trade unions in the annual tax statement.
To disseminate industrial collective labour agreements across the whole economy.
To increase the participation of trade unions in the decision-making process at the company level.
Advocating for full, productive employment policy.
To increase spending on public health care.
To introduce the labour market science to the school curriculum, including knowledge about trade unions.
Taking holistic action for vocational development of seniors and people with disabilities.
To tackle transport exclusion.
To introduce retirement options based on seniority.
To reduce pay inequality.
To implement payroll disclosure.
To introduce a mandatory salary range disclosure in job advertisements.
To establish transparent procedures of the selection process for management positions in the public sector and state-owned enterprise.
To adjust the remuneration between employees hired in the same positions in the public sector.
To support the diversification of the forms of ownership in the economy.
To increase tax progressivity.
To oppose all forms of mobbing and discrimination.
To implement a policy allowing women and men to combine work and family roles to the same extent.
To defend democracy and Human Rights.
To defend migrant workers’ rights.
Caring for a healthy environment.
To cooperate with foreign trade unions and take on joint action for better working conditions around the world.