Polish Engineers’ Participation in the Solidarity Movement

TitlePolish Engineers’ Participation in the Solidarity Movement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsKennedy, M. D.
Secondary TitleSocial Forces

One of the most important aspects of the Polish Solidarity movement was the extensive participation of professionals. Conflicting interests and discrepant statuses make the common struggle of professionals and workers unexpected in Soviet-type society, but many engineers were members of Solidarity. Nonmanagerial engineers were drawn to Solidarity because the integration mechanisms of interesting work and superior privilege were substantially dissolved as the economic crisis progressed over the 1970s. The lower but still substantial rate of participation by managerial engineers was not a result of declining status. The union’s growing strength made continued production dependent on maintaining good relations between managers and Solidarity. The alliance between engineers and workers in Solidarity was thus the result of an economic crisis which led nonmanagerial engineers to help create a social movement so powerful as to move sympathetic but cautious managerial engineers into membership.