Romney’s Visit To Poland Highlights Split Between Lech Walesa And Solidarity Union
During a visit to Poland on Tuesday, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he was inspired by the country’s struggle against communism. However, the group that led the struggle — the Solidarity trade union — did not repay the compliment.
Despite meeting with Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, the former president of Poland who invited Romney to Gdansk, the federation made it clear that they “did not invite” the American because of his history of union-busting.
“Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of trade union AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees … that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees’ rights,” Solidarity said in a statement.
Walesa, the winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, was friendlier toward Romney, telling the governor to “get your success, be successful!” Walesa split with Solidarity seven years ago over policy issues, although Solidarity still shares many of Walesa’s Catholic views. (Walesa, however, has been accused of anti-Semitism, which might have caused the rift from the union.)