Polish Solidarity Distances Itself From Romney: He ‘Supported Attacks On Trade Unions And Employees’ Rights’

Solidarity occupying an intersection in 1982

Between annoying the British and alienating the Palestinians, Mitt Romney seems to have found trouble everywhere he went on his overseas campaign trip. Now, the Polish trade union Solidarity, once led by Romney’s host in Poland Lech Wałęsa, disavowed the GOP presidential hopeful because of his anti-union politics.

Romney went to Gdańsk, Poland to meet with Wałęsa, who in 1980, led a workers’ strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard and helped create the Solidarity trade union. Solidarity became a thorn in the side of the Soviet-backed government, and Wałęsa eventually became a Nobel laureate and the first president of a free Poland. Wałęsa was reportedly miffed when Obama wouldn’t grant him a private greeting, and invited Romney for a visit.

But Solidarity isn’t extending the same welcome. The group distanced itself in a statement:

Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of (trade union federation) AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees … that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees’ rights.

Solidarity was not involved in organizing Romney’s meeting with Wałęsa and did not invite him to visit Poland.

Romney has staked out anti-union positions. He supported right-to-work legislation and railed against unions in Michigan earlier this year: “I’ve taken on union bosses before. I’m happy to take them on again.” (HT: Muhammed Idrees Ahmad)