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The present state of industrial relations in Poland can be described as stabilized, however there is one more question to be considered, namely whether this phenomenon has established itself in the collective work relations or whether we can only treat it as a temporary state. In order to answer this question, it is worth analyzing the dynamics and carrying out a characterization of strikes in Poland throughout the last fifteen years, that is since the moment of democratization of the functioning о the country. There is a wide range of legal regulations concerning strikes, to which a separate chapter of the act on settlement of collective disputes of 23 May 1991 has been devoted. In spile of the existence of such a vast number of regulations and the fact that there are in the act clear regulations providing legality to strikes, many laws remain defunct. This results from the problems left over from he previous era and from the close links existing between leading trade union central offices and politics. Despite a wide range of possibilities connected with organizing strikes in compliance with the regulations, trade unions too eagerly resorted to illegal strikes and - what is worse - did not bear any consequences. Such a status quo gave impetus to a spiral of strikes which operated on the basis of a domino effect - an outbreak of a strike in one industry often resulted in similar action in other branches, which is proved by the strike statistics in the years 1990-2002. Strikes perform many functions (also positive ones), however it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that in an overall analysis its effects and costs are unpredictable. Perhaps that is why protest campaigns have gained so much in popularity. They are to a lesser extent fraught with consequences and - what is equally important - people who have no right to strike can participate in them. Since 1994 the number of strikes has remained on a relatively low level, which should be regarded as a positive phenomenon. However, random quantities in individual years and the motives of trade unions’ restraint from strikes indicate that it is necessary to keep reserve despite this optimism, all the more that the government more and more frequently seeks budgetary cuts, which for a very long time has been one of the reasons for an outbreak of a wave of social discontent.