Labour and capital in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland

Teresa Liszcz

Abstract


Abstrakt angielski: The article discusses relations between labour (working people) and capital (businessmen, employers) from the perspective of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. The notion „labour” in the Constitution denotes any gainful employment done by man for another subject, regardless of the legal basis of doing it. By capital we mean the owners as well as subjects of other property rights to the means of production performing business activity using hired labour. This activity requires cooperation between these two factors, but at the same time there occurs a natural conflict of interests between them. According to Art. 20 of the Constitution, the Polish economic system, defined as “social market economy, is based on private property and freedom of business activity as well as on solidarity, dialogue, and cooperation of social partners (i.e. of labour and capital). The principles of cooperation between labour and capital in the form of prognoses and making collective agreements are defined by Art. 59 of the Constitution. The Constitution protects “capital” by special protection of private property (Art. 21 and Art. 64) and by freedom of business activity (Art. 20 in conjunction with Art. 22). It also protects labour, stating in Art. 24 that “Labour is under protection of the Republic of Poland. The State supervises the conditions of performing labour”. Labour protection, i.e. protection of working people is justified mostly by the fact that people earning money for living by working for another subject they are economically dependent on, have weaker economic and social position, which may lead to their exploitation. The duty of the State is to counteract exploitation, which is mostly done by means of semi-imperative rules of labour law and ruling implements of supervision of observance of these rules by the employers. The principle of labour protection from Art. 24 of the Constitution has been developed in its other resolutions concerning labour freedom, minimum remuneration for work (Art. 65), the rights to safe work conditions and to recreation (Art. 66). The Constitution assumes cooperation between labour and capital, trying to preserve balance between the interests of both parties.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2014.22.0.253
Data publikacji: 2015-04-18 11:34:24
Data złożenia artykułu: 2015-04-14 19:05:54

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