Poland: effective wage bargaining in automotive and postal sectors

Sectoral collective bargaining still does not exist in the automotive industry in Poland. However, as a result of ongoing company negotiations, trade unions have been able to secure monthly wage increases ranging from 110-140 zlotys (about €26-33) at several suppliers (e.g. Leadec, Denso Termal, Ficomirrors, Valeo) to 300 zlotys (€72) at Toyota Motors. While at General Motors Poland, a four-year agreement was signed providing for a 1050 zloty (€250) monthly wage rise during the period 2017-20.

In the public sector, after stormy negotiations, the trade unions concluded an agreement with the biggest Polish employer, the Post – with more than 73,000 employees – to increase the monthly wage by 150 zlotys (€34) per employee. The talks will continue as the unions wants to secure total wage growth of 400 zlotys (€95).

“For us, the pay rise campaign is a multi-layered process based on three pillars: the private sector, the public sector and the minimum wage. Each of them has a different nature,” says Bogdan Kubiak, vice-president of NSZZ Solidarność. “As regards the first one, we see the need to strengthen sectoral bargaining. Otherwise, it will be difficult to confront the strategies of transnational corporations. As a central organisation, we are just negotiating the statutory minimum wage increase with the government and employers’ organisations, within the tripartite Social Dialogue Council. I do not hide the fact that if we want to get closer to the concept of a decent wage we need to aim for at least 8% growth.”