Solidarity replies to Soviet critics
Solidarity published an open letter from factory workers here inviting critics in the Soviet Union to visit them to clear up misunderstanding about the independent union movement in Poland. The response came after Solidarity recieved a letter from Moscow truck plant workers blasting the Polish union's recent congress.
"We hope that when we meet we will explain many problems and maybe your attitude toward Solidarity and all its members will then be put into perspective ," the letter said.
Meanwhile, the Polish government warned that a shortage of coal could lead to "total economic collapse." The warning of economic chaos from the shortfall in coal production coincided with a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign by Moscow to show Soviet workers are happy with their economic system.
Thousands of soldiers went to work in Polish coal mines to counter the production slump. A government task force blamed the shortage on the five-day workweek won by Solidarity last year and warned that shortages of coal would have a devastating impact on Polish industry. Coal production has fallen sharply in Poland since the labor upheavals of last summer.
In another development, Warsaw's provincial court ordered the release from jail of three anti-Communists who had become the focus of a national campaign, but the decision was overruled by the Supreme Court, the official news agency PAP reported. Solidarity, while disavowing the confederation's politics, supported the three men on the ground that Gdansk labor accords guaranteed freedom of expression.