The Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarność was founded as a result of worker protests and established on the basis of the Gdańsk Accords signed on 31st August 1980 by the Inter-enterprise Strike Committee and the Government Commission.
NSZZ Solidarność represents 722.000 workers, what is 4,35% of the total unionisation of work force in Poland (11-13%). There are union members in every industry and services. Membership includes managers, administrators and professional staff as well as scientists and technicians; skilled workers and labourers; full-time workers and those who work part time; pensioners/retirees, school students in factory-run vocational schools doing sub-contracting work for factories or receiving vocational training in such schools; persons contracting for work at home, unemployed, disabled and persons who are performing alternative military service. A check off system is in operation.
NSZZ "Solidarność" has a territorial-branch structure. 8105 thousand enterprise Union organisations (locals) are associated into 34 regions (VI.2006). Enterprise Union organisations are associated at the same time in the national branch sections which form 16 national branch secretariats.
The National Congress of Delegates is the union's supreme authority which elects the National Commission (100 members), consisting among others of the chairs of 34 regions and 16 national branch secretariats and the President of the National Commission (in separate balloting). The National Congress of Delegates also elects the National Audit Commission.
The current operations of the Union are controlled by 16 members of the Presidium of the National Commission. The National Commission implements the Programme Resolution and other resolutions adopted by the National Congress of Delegates.