More than 300 miners were on strike at an important southern mining area Wednesday, state radio said, in the first reported worker protest of strict economic policies under Premier Karoly Grosz.
The workers at the Mescek mine in Komlo were demanding restoration of cuts in bonuses and changes in the income tax introduced by Grosz, the radio said. He took over as premier and Communist Party leader in July.A later radio report indicated a compromise might be reached to restore some of the miners' bonuses. But there was no final word as representatives of management, strikers and the official mineworkers' union were reported meeting with Deputy Premier Peter Med-gyessy.
Reports on strikes in Hungary have been rare since the anti-Soviet uprising was quashed in 1956. Scattered labor unrest was reported in Hungary in 1969, in 1977 and in 1980-81.
Wednesday's relatively swift reporting of the mine strike appeared to reflect the greater openness of state-run media under Grosz.
The state news agency MTI said the strike began Tuesday night when 150 miners refused to work at one entrance to the mine at Komlo, 100 miles south of Budapest near the Yugoslav border.
State radio said this afternoon that 150 more workers on the day shift refused to work and that the stoppage spread to "several other sections of the Komlo mine."
MTI said a senior official from Budapest went to the mines to mediate the dispute. The official, Laszlo Kap-olyi, returned to Budapest on Wednesday with representatives from management and the work force to negotiate with the government, MTI said.