During the mid-1980s, Solidarity persisted as an underground organization supported by the Catholic Church, and by the late 1980s it was again a major force in Poland. The union succeeded in frustrating Jaruzelski's attempts at reform, and nationwide strikes in 1988 led to the first governmental attempts to open a dialogue with Solidarity. On Apr. 5, 1989, Solidarity and the government signed an agreement legalizing Solidarity and allowing it to campaign for the upcoming elections. In limited free elections that followed, candidates supported by the union won a resounding victory. By the end of August a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed. In Dec., 1990, Wałęsa was elected president and resigned his union post he failed to win reelection in 1995. Solidarity has since placed greater emphasis on traditional trade union matters, but the political bloc Solidarity Electoral Action, an outgrowth of the union founded in 1996, governed Poland from 1997 to 2001. Solidarity currently has 722,000 members.
See T. G Ash, The Polish Revolution: Solidarity, 1980–1982 (1984).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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