Police, firefighters stage rally in Warsaw over pay and pensions
PR dla Zagranicy
Thousands of police and members of other uniformed services took to the streets of Warsaw to demand higher pay and more favourable pension rules in a union protest on Tuesday.
Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Rafał Jankowski, leader of two unions bringing together the country’s police and other services, told protesters at a central square in the Polish capital that the rally had drawn a crowd of around 20,000, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
The news agency did not immediately give estimates of the turnout from other sources.
Police officers, border guards, prison service employees, firefighters and others took part in the rally, during which protesters planned to petition the country’s president and prime minister with their demands.
Interior and Administration Minister Joachim Brudziński told public broadcaster Polish Radio earlier in the day that the protest was being staged even though the government was ready to make what he described as a preliminary deal on pay and conditions with trade unions in June.
Brudziński said, however, that uniformed services had the right to protest, and voiced hope that the demonstration would be peaceful.
Meanwhile, Deputy Interior and Administration Minister Jarosław Zieliński told Polish Radio 24 ahead of the protest that the demonstration appeared to be politically motivated.
He also said that Poland’s ruling conservatives have increased the monthly pay of police officers by over PLN 1,100 (EUR 256, USD 295) on average since they took power in the autumn of 2015.
"There are no reasons to protest today,” Zieliński said, arguing that protests over pay were not held when police wages stayed put under the country’s previous government led by the centre-right Civic Platform (PO) party.
During the previous administration's eight years in power “police stations were closed en masse” across the country, Zieliński added.
Source: PAP, Polish Radio