Walesa: tapped by state, acclaimed by the people
Lech Walesa, a Roman Catholic and the man most visibly identified with spearheading the recent strikes on Poland's Baltic coast, has been named by the government to sit on the 22-member commission that will draft a new labor code.
The code is to embody the agreements in the strike settlement that provide for new independent unions, with statutes defining their self-governing status and the right to strike.
Sylvester Zawadski, the head of parliament's legal committee, will chair the commission, which includes five other strike committee members besides Mr. Walesa. The other 15 commission members are well-known academics and lawyers.
Mr. Walesa was chairman of the Gdansk strike committee. After his committee and 29 others from the Baltic ports and other parts of the country reached separate agreements with the government, they joined to form a single large union named Solidarnosc (solidarity).
On Sept. 24 he led delegates from all 30 committees to the Warsaw district court to lodge the new union's draft statute and its application for legal registration.
A crowd of 1,000 to 2,000 people greeted the delegates with red and white carnations -- the Polish colors -- and applause. They responded with Churchill-style V-for- victory signs and clenched- fist salutes.