The ETUC learned of the death at the age of 81 of Jan Kulakowski, former trade unionist and politician. Between 1954 and 1989, Jan Kulakowski played a major role in the international structures of Christian trade unionism, including within the World Confederation of Labour (WCL), of which he was Secretary General from 1974 to 1989. He supported the Polish trade union Solidarno?? from its creation in 1980.
Jan Kulakowski was Poland’s Ambassador to the European Communities from 1990 to 1996. Between 1998 and 2001 he was the Minister responsible for Poland’s accession negotiations to the European Union. From 2004 to 2009 he was a Member of the European Parliament, where he promoted the European social model and the role of the trade unions.
Bernadette Ségol, ETUC General Secretary, stated: ‘The death of Jan Kulakowski has robbed us of an ardent defender of democracy, trade unionism and Europe. The best thing to do is to continue to defend those values’.
The ETUC Executive Committee, meeting today in Brussels, observed a minute’s silence to mark the death of Jan Kulakowski.