MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People
Gierek, Edward (b. 1913)
Polish United Workers Party leader in the loyal coal mining region of Upper Silesia. Elected leader of Poland when Gomulka was brought down by the strikes of December 1970; went to Gdansk and personally negotiated a settlement with the strikers, a practice typical of him. Reached an accommodation with the Catholic Church and allowed the 1979 tour of Pope John Paul. Fell ill at the height of the August 1980 strikes which ultimately led to the founding of Solidarity. Removed and replaced by Stalinslaw Kania.