In August 1980 Anna Walentynowicz was fired from work at the Gdańsk Shipyard for participating in an illegal union. Her firing was the catalyst that started Polish workers, led by Lech Walesa, to strike the shipyards. The strike spread to other areas of the country. The government was forced to give in to workers demand and the workers won a major victory, when the government agreed to demands made by newly formed Solidarity Trade Union to both legalize unions, as well as affirm the right to strike. The victory of Solidarity was the first step in the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union.