Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Polish union calls for calm amid signs of another shakeup

On the eve of the Polish Communist Party's Central Committee plenum, Poland's reform-minded unionists were trumpeting the need for "calm and work" throughout the countr.

The moderating stance was symbolized by a plea from Solidarity, the bigget grup within the free trade union movement.

About these ads

"The countr and Solidarity need peace, organized work, and an atmosphere conducive to the reconstruction of the economy," the union told the nation's workers.

The call came on the heels of a compromise last week between the goverment and unions that averted another wave of strikes.

The Central Committee met in a calmer atmosphere than existed during the three previous sessions convened since the summerof labor unrest.

In addition, there was some indication of more public confidence in the government's resolve to press ahead with its promised "renewal" program.

The plenum's business reportedly focused on three points:

* Mapping a program for political, social, and economic recognition of the new unions. Combined with this was a nationwide appeal for support in overcoming the production and other losses of the prolonged crisis.

* Reassuring the Russians and Poland's other East-bloc critics that the party is securely preserving Poland's "socialist" system within the "renewa" process. This includes the party's leading role.

About these ads

* Strengthening the top leadership by bringing in more people fully committed to this new line.

Changes were expected to reach as high as the Politburo in the fifth goverment reshuffle this year. It was widely speculated that the most likely newcomer would be former wartime resistance leaderand later Army general, Mieczyslaw Moczar.

One of the party's founding members, Mr. Moczar has reemerged as one of the country's most trsted personalities after a perod of political obscurity underthe Gierek regime.

He recently was confirmed head of the Suprme Chamber of Control, which has the job of cleaning up party corruption and prvilege -- problems that aroused widespread public bitteress long befor this year's crisis.

Significantly, his comeback has been given considerable prominence by the news media. He is a strong nationalist -- a trait that has always caused the Russians to view him with reserve. As head of the 650,000-member ex-servicemen's association, he maintains a strong personal following.

The Polish press showed Monday that there still are differing approaches within the party over the pace and scope of reform.

The official party daily Trybuna Ludu supported the call for democratization within the party and public life but insisted that it should be conducted by a "strong, monolithic [Communist] party" which alone could ensure Poland's "socialist construction."

Every communist state has the right to develop its own socialist system and should not merely try to adapt the Soviet model to its own different national conditions, the paper declared.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.