„I mean I will tell you one thing. I was the one to inform my colleagues of the postulates and the situation in Gdansk, what’s more, I even quoted some of the bulletins, that what I was supposed to do about the situation in Gdansk, and the decision – what we are going to do about it? It’s hard for me to say who first said the word „strike!” Hard to say, maybe it was me who said that, maybe someone else. There were several tens of drivers so it is hard to say exactly today. Anyway, the decision was made and we decided about the strike together with the coast as a solidarity strike."
„Now we didn’t display any of our own postulates as it was the solidarity strike of all , so we decided together. Of course, the information that someone placed a bus at the gate, blocked the entrance. The situation through a dispatcher reached the headquarters that controlled all transport and all the buses in the city. Party dignitaries came to the management and try to, so to speak, persuade us to stop the strike. More supplies? Salary rise? What do you want? We can do anything for you to stop the strike. The strike of solidarity, we have no postulates of our own, the strike of solidarity. There were mainly two postulates: contact with Gdansk to know what the situation looks like out there; the second thing came after a few hours, we suggested the ban on alcohol, because we were afraid what may happen had the strike spread on other depots. We sent some deputies to the other depots because their vehicles did not stop, they didn’t know of the situation here. About noon all the communication stopped.”
“(...) Anyway, we established an MTC strike committee, and back then Grabiszyńska Street was one long stretch of factories, there was Hutmen, there was Fadroma, Elwro, many big factories, so the information that there was a strike in depot seven spread momentarily. Many people working in that stretch were stopping, asking what, how, why, what for? It was a solidarity strike, 21 demands – we told everyone about them. You could say that around afternoon representatives from other factories started to come and join us. First from Grabiszyńska street, from Fadroma, Hutmen, Elwro, FAT, they said they were joining the strike and they were making no demands of their own. They support our demands, the goal of our strike, the 21 Gdansk demands and that they were for reaching an agreement in Gdansk. It was then when the need for creating an Inter-company Strike Committee arose. Eventually, near the end of the strike, around 180 factories were united. First from Wrocław, then from towns in all Lower Silesia, Wałbrzych, Lubin, Dzierżoniów, there was a big factory there – Diora. Entire Lower Silesia.”
„(…)we constantly repeated – we are the strike of solidarity, 21 postulates, Gdansk, contact with Gdansk above all (…)”
Tomasz Surowiec was born on 5 March 1949 in Łódź. After graduating from the Basic Vocational School in Łask, specialization: driver/mechanic he started to work as a bus driver in the Municipal Transport Company in Łódź. In 1976 he moved to Wroclaw, where he found work at the same position in the MTC in Wroclaw. He was one of the people who organized the strike between 26 and 31 August in the seventh depot of MTC at Grabiszynska street in Wroclaw. He was a member of the Municipal Strike Committee. Since September 1980 he was a treasurer in the Inter-company Union Committee of Solidarity. He took part in the hiding of 80 million from the accounts of the Lower Silesian Solidarity on 3 December 1981. On 13/14 December, together with Piotr Bednarz, Józef Pinior and Władysław Frasyniuk, he attempted to organize a strike in MTC and the National Rail Carriage Factory Pafawag, after which he was hiding. In years 1982-89 he took part in manifestations in defence of political prisoners and the victimized. He also helped to raise funds, clothes and food for the latter ones. He was arrested a number of times and interrogated by the Citizen’s Militia Provincial Headquarters. In 1988 he co-organized strikes in MTC in Wroclaw and since 1990 he has been the leader of the Inter-company Union Organization Solidarity in Wroclaw. Tomasz Surowiec died on 24/01/2016, Wroclaw.