Bogusław Ziobrowski

* 1957

  • ‘On August 30 [1980 - ed.] Marian Jurczyk signed an agreement with the government ending the strike. And it started at our workplace..., there was a hesitation, whether to go back to work, or not? But someone said that we had begun to sympathize, support the coast, Gdańsk, so we should stick to Gdańsk. Yes, Gdańsk was closer to us, some, even if they went there somewhere, brought back some announcements - majority of them from the talks with the government, they were from Gdańsk. They were also from Szczecin, but [more - ed.] simply from Gdańsk, to us Gdańsk was the cradle of all of that. And what? We said: no, we are not going back to work, because we didn’t know [if it was the truth], besides, back then we didn’t have cell phones, that someone could call, because what could the television say? Maybe we should send a group beforehand - it was 30 [August - ed.], to go to Gdańsk, to be there in person. Someone said: what if we don’t get there? And I really don’t remember where it came from - I said: so listen, let’s go! Let’s go! And that’s how we discussed who, what - so Władek Frasyniuk said: Bogdan, you go, who, Tosiek Skinder and Hubert Hanusiak. And we gathered and - I don’t know, we are still looking for that man who came to us in that Skoda Octavia and said that he would take us there in that Skoda.’

  • "I obtained information [on the initiated strike at the Grabiszyńska street - ed.] and I came back with my friend to PKS. A certain number of drivers had already been there: some had returned [from the service - ed.], others were leaving, and we started talking to each other. And they said louder and louder: listen, if they are on strike, then we should be too. Someone arrived and said: listen, MPK is on strike, they are returning...- more and more people had learned from the drivers and bus conductors had been saying...And we started to talk. I began to explain to them what it all meant, that it meant supporting Gdańsk, that the coast was on strike and we would support the coast. Nothing more - no [new demands - ed.], because they were saying that maybe one more thing, maybe a rise? I said: listen, from what I’ve learned, if we want, we can strike and support, and perhaps at a later date [we will add demands - ed.]. And the discussion started: okay! A few other such “diehards” stood up: what? no problem, we will be returning! So, what are we going to do? I said: listen, in MPK they are returning back [to the depot - ed.], they have a barrier there, they are closing it, they are not leaving, the buses are not running. And that’s how it lead to us organising it slowly at our workplace, there was a hype. A moment later, the management rushed out of the building: what are we doing? that we aren’t allowed! One workmate thought and said: listen - at our workplace it was like that - we would drive in through one gate from Prądzyński street, and we would exit onto Kościuszki street from the outside of the building - the building is still standing, because the exit was outside the building. There were barriers, but the barriers weren’t enough so they parked two buses across and later two additional buses, so they wouldn’t drive in, and the gate was closed. When we closed the gate, the then Director ordered to open it. So they opened the gate. I didn’t think long: alongside, at the corner of Prądzyński street there was a metal shop - by the way, it’s still there - I went there, I bought I think two metres of a massive chain and a padlock, and we wrapped the chain around the gate - around those two gate leaves - and put the padlock on, and guys brought large bolts and put them into the links [of the chain - ed.] and bolted them on so no one could open it for the time being. And that’s how it started."

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    Wrocław, Polska, 09.07.2015

    duration: 02:22:51
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Bogusław Ziobrowski
Bogusław Ziobrowski
photo: Ośrodek "Pamięć i Przyszłość"

Bogusław Ziobrowski was born in 1957; as soon as he had finished a vocational school he left Poland and went to the GDR in Weimar and engaged himself in manual labour. In Weimar he came into contact with trade unions for the first time. He became the chairman of the group of Polish workers. In 1979 he started working in the Motor Transport Company (PKS) as a bus driver. When he found out about the commencement of strike in the bus depot at the Municipal Transport Company (MPK) on the 26thAugust, 1980, he started to organize the strike in the Motor Transport Company where he worked. Ziobrowski was elected deputy chairman of Intercompany Strike Committee where he was responsible for registering new trade unions which went on strike. On the 30thAugust, he went to Gdańsk, with three other strikers. He brought to Wrocław the copy of the Gdańsk Agreement signed by Anna Walentynowicz that led to ending the strike in Wrocław. Ziobrowski was involved in trade unions’ activity until their disbandment by authority in 1981. He withdrew from political activity during the martial law. After 1989 he set up his own transport company.