Solidarity leader Lech Walesa on Monday rejected Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's call for a dialogue to settle the worst labor unrest in seven years, saying the offer fell short of accepting the workers' key demand - revival of the banned union.
Jaruzelski said Sunday that a two-day session of the Communist Party Central Committee had endorsed creation of a "Council of National Reconciliation," and a party spokesman said it also called for an increase in the supply of basic foodstuffs and curbs on price hikes.But his statement did little to break the deadlock with striking workers.
Walesa vowed Monday to continue to strike "until victory."
"Solidarity is simply indispensable, and we shall not move an inch forward without it," Walesa told reporters at Lenin shipyard in his first public comment on Jaruzelski's speech.
Asked how long the nationwide walkouts, which broke out Aug. 16, would last, Walesa said, "I don't know for how long, but for sure until victory."
"(The government's) proposal for round-table talks is still binding, and nobody took it away from us," Walesa said in reference to promises by Jaruzelski and other government members to hold round-table talks with independent opposition groups.
"(Jaruzelski's) was a speech without a conclusion, neither a clear offer nor a threat," Adam Michnik, a Solidarity ideologist, said in a telephone interview Sunday from the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk, birthplace of the independent worker movement.
Jaruzelski said the council would include independent members with special powers to make reform proposals to the Sejm, or parliament, to defuse the two-week wave of strikes, Poland's worst labor unrest since 1981.
But without mentioning Solidarity by name, Jaruzelski made it clear he disapproved of allowing independent unions.
Analysts said Jaruzelski's speech did little to break the deadlock between the government and the outlawed union, and striking workers in Gdansk answered the televised address with chants of, "There is no freedom without Solidarity!"