Poland’s Soldidarnosc (Solidarity) has expressed its support for Wisconsin’s public sector workers and the left is wetting itself in excitement, apparently forgetting (or not giving a damn) about Solidarnosc’s sordid past (and present). This past included support from Albert Shanker who, like Solidarnosc, was a staunch anti-communist crusader and suppressor of worker power. It should be no surprise that Solidarnosc is returning the favor now, perhaps hoping to ensure that worker outrage in the Midwest does not evolve into communism or spread to Poland.
At the time of the Shanker-Solidarnosc collaboration, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) was receiving funding from the Agency for International Development (AID) and was collaborating with the CIA to manipulate international labor. The AFL-CIO has a long history of collaborating with the CIA in its fight against communism and working class labor struggles throughout the world, specifically using Solidarnosc to undermine working class power in Poland. Solidarnosc was and is a nationalistic, anti-worker business union, which has suppressed its own members’ freedom and working conditions. The Solidarity-led government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, for example, slashed wages and subsidies for food, housing and social services, while dismantling so much industry that one million workers had to be laid off.