Unions, employers appeal to gov't for mandatory Covid jabs

In the appeal, the unions and employers stressed the efficiency of vaccines. Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

Poland's biggest trade unions and employers have issued a joint appeal to the government to introduce mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations as new infections are rising fast, threatening the country's economic recovery.

The signatories of the appeal represent Poland's nine biggest unions and employer organisations that are members of the Council for Social Dialogue, a tri-lateral consultation body also comprising the government.

In the appeal, the unions and employers stressed the efficiency of vaccines and observed that now only medics are officially obliged to get vaccinated in Poland.

They also pointed out that Poland's vaccination statistics are much worse than Western Europe's, with only 54 percent of Poles having been fully vaccinated.

"The figure is definitely too small to efficiently reduce the growing number of deaths and serious symptoms of the disease," they wrote.

"We appeal to the government to introduce mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for the general public, with the exception of people with medical contraindications, and to introduce preferences for vaccinated people," the organisations wrote.

The ruling party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), has stopped short of introducing a tougher regime for those who refuse to get a Covid vaccine, unlike most other EU countries.

Some smaller allies of PiS, and even some of the party's own members, are openly against such measures. With only a fragile majority in the lower house of parliament, any bigger internal conflict could destabilise the government.