Wałęsa, Lech (1943–)

Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician who co-founded the first independent trade union, Solidarity, in the Soviet Bloc, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. Wałęsa's importance is clearly shown by the international recognition he received; he was featured widely in the international media.

In 1980 Wałęsa became the leader of an occupational strike in the Lenin Shipyard of Gdańsk, which was spontaneously followed by similar strikes across Poland. Together with workers he organized the Strike Coordination Committee to lead and support the general strike in Poland. In that year, the communist government signed an agreement with the Strike Coordination Committee to allow legal organization although not actual free trade unions. The Strike Coordination Committee legalized ...

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