UPDATE: Worth dipping into Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, first published in 1776. For here we come face to face with 'to combine' as used in the Polish sense. In the passage below, consider the verb 'combine' as kombinować, and the noun 'combinations' as kombinacje:
"We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate [...] Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy till the moment of execution; and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people". In contrast, when workers combine, "the masters call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combination of servants, labourers, and journeymen."