Labour Research November 2021

European news

Self-employed unionisation

A new union for the self-employed has been set up in Poland. Called wBREw, it aims to recruit among the around 1.6 million self-employed Poles.

Until 2019, the self-employed could not legally join unions. But this changed following pressure from main union confederations and a case in the constitutional court. So far this has not led to many self-employed people joining unions. As Marek Lewandowski, spokesperson for NSZZ Solidarnosc, one of Poland’s three main union confederations, has said, “there hasn’t been much interest”. It remains to be seen whether a separate union will have more success.

Union density in Poland is among the lowest in Europe, with only around 11% of employees in unions.