Monday, July 30, 2012

Canada: Polish trade union movement Solidarity distances itself from Romney

Reuters Canada

Polish Solidarity distances itself from Romney visit

By Steve Holland

GDANSK, Poland (Reuters) - Solidarity, the trade union movement which led the Polish struggle against communist rule, distanced itself on Monday from a visit to Poland by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying he supported attacks on unions in his own country.

Romney was in Poland on the third and final leg of a tour aimed at burnishing his foreign policy credentials and demonstrating that he would be a viable alternative to President Barack Obama on the world stage.
Romney visited the Baltic port of Gdansk, cradle of Solidarity which toppled Poland's communist government in the late 1980s, where he met Lech Walesa, the shipyard electrician who led the union movement during the struggle seen as the start of the end of Soviet domination of eastern Europe.

"Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of (trade union federation) AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees ... that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees' rights," Solidarity said in a statement.

"Solidarity was not involved in organizing Romney's meeting with Walesa and did not invite him to visit Poland."

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