ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
Go to the home page
Français - Español
> Homepage > Online information resources > Resource guides > History of the ILO

Library brochure
Governing Body Collection

Library brochure
ILO Conventions: background and preparatory work

Library brochure
Services & Digital Collections
(pdf 139 KB)

ILO Library brochure
(pdf 135 KB)

ILO activities in the post-war world (Part 2: 1960-1988)

Select to magnify the image Select to magnify the image

  1. Key documents

Complaint against Poland for non-compliance with Conventions Nos. 87 and 98

In 1957, Poland ratified the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98). However, when martial law was declared in 1981, the Polish Government suspended the activities of the Solidarnosc trade union and dismissed many of its leaders and members.

In a letter dated 16 June 1982 and sent to the ILO Director-General, Marc Blondel, workers’ delegate from France, and Liv Buck, workers’ delegate from Norway, filed a complaint under Article 26 of the ILO Constitution against the Government of Poland for non-compliance with the two conventions mentioned above. Mr. Blondel and Ms. Buck, as their countries’ workers’ delegates to the 68th Session of the International Labour Conference, were competent to file a complaint under article 26, paragraph 4, of the ILO Constitution.

On 27 May 1983, the ILO Governing Body approved, by 44 votes in favour and 6 against, with 5 abstentions, the recommendation of the Committee on Freedom of Association to have the case as a whole considered by a commission of inquiry, in accordance with article 26, paragraph 3, of the ILO Constitution. The Commission of Inquiry, whose members were designated on 23 June 1983, held its first working session on 5 and 6 September 1983. Chaired by Nicolas Valticos, the Commission formulated its conclusions and recommendations on 2 May 1984; it found that there had been grave violations of both ILO conventions. ILO invoked those conclusions when it urged Poland to fulfil its obligations. The Polish Government subsequently recognized Solidarnosc and granted it legal status in 1989. For Lech Walesa, Solidarnosc leader and later President of Poland from 1990 to 1995, “the Commission of Inquiry created by the ILO after the imposition of martial law in my country made significant contributions to the changes which brought democracy to Poland” (see Rules of the game: A brief introduction to International Labour Standards, p. 83).
  1. 1960-1988:
    ILO activities in the post-war world (Part 2: 1960-1988)
    1. 1960
    2. 1964
    3. 1965
    4. 1968
    5. 1969
    6. 1970
    7. 1973
    8. 1974
    9. 1977
    10. 1982
    11. 1986
  2. 1919-1939
  3. 1940-1945
  4. 1946-1959
  5. 1989-1998
  6. 1999-

ILO Century Project

ILO Century Project Timeline

The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

Video: The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

Ask a librarian

Last update: 23.02.2015 ^ top