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Shipyard Says Polish Strikers Won’t Lose Jobs

Associated Press

Workers involved in a one-day strike at Gdansk’s repair shipyard will not be fired, management officials said Thursday, contradicting earlier reports that some strike leaders were dismissed.

Solidarity union founder Lech Walesa, meanwhile, reiterated that he does not believe the time is right for strikes.

Hundreds of workers at the repair facility and at the Wisla shipyard had walked out Tuesday without Walesa’s approval, demanding reversal of a government order to close the huge Lenin Shipyard, birthplace of Solidarity, on Dec. 1.

They ended the strikes Wednesday after repeated appeals from Walesa and a threat of dismissals. Walesa thanked the workers, saying, “There is no other path than reconciliation.”

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In a statement, repair shipyard management said no dismissals were necessary, since strikers had heeded Walesa’s appeals.

Agency in Error

The state-run news agency PAP announced Wednesday night that the shipyard director had “sacked the inspirers of the strike action” at the 4,500-worker repair yard.

At a news conference Thursday, Walesa reiterated that he has assurances the Lenin Shipyard closing will be a long process that can be decided later, and he announced that Solidarity has asked its own experts to examine proposals to make the shipyard more efficient.

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Walesa said he lacks the support to call a strike now but warned that if conditions do not improve, frustrated workers could strike next spring.

Walesa said young workers who are impatient for promised talks to begin are in a fighting mood. The talks were offered by the government in August, in exchange for which Walesa ended Poland’s worst labor unrest in seven years.

Preparations for the talks broke down when Walesa refused to purge from Solidarity’s proposed delegation two people the government has deemed extremist.


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