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Railway workers rule out Euro 2012 strike following crash

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 25.05.2012 09:37
The Confederation of Railway Trade Unions (KKZZ) has ruled out a prospective strike until after the Euro 2012 football tournament, in spite of this week's head on collision in Warsaw.

Chairman of KKZZ Leszek Mietek: photo - PAP/Bartlomiej Zborowski

Chairman of KKZZ Leszek Mietek made the announcement following a general assembly of union delegates on Thursday in the wake of Wednesday's non-fatal crash.

"The issue of stopping the running of trains due to the security situation is not an end in itself for us,” he said at a press conference following the assembly, as cited by the Polish Press Agency.

“We do not want this issue - the battle for security on the Polish tracks – to be in any way identified with the current political conflict or Euro 2012,” he explained.

Nevertheless, Mietek stressed that this week's crash, together with the 3 March collision that killed 16 and several less critical incidents, meant that change is essential.

“It cannot get to the stage where passengers are afraid to board a train,” he said.

A survey this week by the Homo Homine institute suggested that 72 percent of Poles are against protests during Euro 2012, an event which Poland is co-hosting with Ukraine.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of conservative opposition party Law and Justice announced a truce this week, pledging not to promote protests during the tournament, which runs from 8 June until 1 July.

However, Piotr Duda, head of the Solidarity trade union, has indicated that he will not resign from all protests, in spite of appeals from both the government and adverse public opinion.

In an interview with the TVN television station, Duda did note that his union “will not disturb fans during Euro 2012.

“We want to make life difficult for those in power... and not society at large,” he said, adding that Solidarity is launching a new campaign called 'We will Win'.

This month, thousands of Solidarity protesters blocked parliament as the government passed a bill raising the national retirement age to 67.

Earlier this month, Piotr Duda called President Komorowski's appeal for no protests during Euro 2012 “a feeble joke.” (nh)

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