Obituary of Jan Guz - a president of OPZZ

We regret to inform you that on the 24th of May, Jan Guz, the President of the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ) passed away.

Jan Guz was born in 1956 in a working class family in Eastern Poland. After the death of his parents in his early childhood, he was raised in an orphanage. He was trained as a locksmith and later studied political science. In his early age he became engaged in trade union movement and committed to workers’ rights, equality and social justice. He held various positions in local trade union organisations in Biała Podlaska region in Poland. In years 1997 to 2004 he was a Vice-President of the OPZZ and since 2004 the President of the OPZZ.

At the international level, he always advocated for trade unions’ solidarity. Thanks to his commitment to international co-operation, the OPZZ successfully joined the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in 2006. Jan Guz was actively involved in multilateral trade union co-operations such as the Baltic Sea Trade Union Network (BASTUN), the Visegrad trade union group or bilateral co-operations with German or Ukrainian trade unions.

Jan Guz was a key person in the process of reinstating the tripartite dialogue in Poland by contributing to creation of the Council of Social Dialogue (Rada Dialogu Społecznego) in 2015 and he has been one of its vice-presidents since that time.

Jan Guz was actively engaged in tackling discrimination and promoting equality. He supported migrants workers’ rights. Recently, he was involved in promoting upward wage convergence in the European Union and most importantly the European Minimum Wage.
With deepest sadness we say goodbye to our President, colleague and a friend of working people in Poland. We will miss him very much.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday the 29th of May in his native city of Biała Podlaska.
For more information please contact Adam Rogalewski rogalewski at 0048 502 391 672, the Acting Head of the OPZZ International Department.