Strike leaders Friday began negotiations with the Byelorussian government, warning that a republicwide general strike would be called if worker grievances are not resolved within 10 days.
The talks came one day after strike leaders ended a 36-hour work stoppage in exchange for a government promise to negotiate."If the negotiations fail, a general, political strike is to be called throughout the republic on April 23," Alexander Galkevich, chief of the strike committee's news service, told the independent Interfax news agency.
He said the strike would resume immediately if workers were prosecuted for participating in the protest.
Workers are demanding the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and other national and republic leaders as well as salary increases commensurate with sharp price increases instituted nationwide on April 2.
By walking out Wednesday, the workers defied Gorbachev's appeal for a moratorium on strikes. But suspension of the strike gave Gorbachev only a slight respite.