In 1993, the Polish Parliament, with the support of the Catholic Church, passed a bill known as the “abortion compromise,” which was intended to decrease abortions and increase overall birth rates in Poland. The law prohibits abortion in all cases except rape, incest, or when the pregnant person or fetus’s life is in danger.
In March of 2012, Polish beekeepers and allies stormed the streets of Warsaw to protest the use of genetically modified (GM) maize and potatoes. The protest served as a call to action to mobilize the Polish Ministry of Agriculture to ban genetically modified organisms (GMOs) definitively. The campaign was a partial success as it helped mobilize Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to impose farming bans on certain GM crops months later.
In the face of a stagnating post-war economy, Polish Communist leader Władysław Gomułka, the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR), decided to end government subsidies for food and other everyday items in late 1970. Although the system of fixed, artificially low food prices kept urban discontent in check, it was unsustainable, absorbing approximately one third of the budget.
Following World War II, the Soviet Union set up a government, the PZPR (Polish United Workers’ Party), in Poland that did not permit workers at state-owned factories and businesses to represent their interests in labor unions independently from Party commands. After a series of strikes in 1970, workers abandoned their hopes of forming independent labor unions in exchange for prospects of economic growth promised by First Party Secretary Gierek.
In the southern Polish city of Kielce, in the late 2000s, a public bus company, MPK (Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne), employed around 630 people and ran 160 buses regularly in the city. For several years, the company had been struggling to survive. It had been put under a traffic planning authority, ZTM, which controlled business operations and pushed it into debt. Working conditions were also unfavorable: wages were low, bus schedules didn't allow drivers regular breaks, and it became difficult for the company to hire new employees.