Mikhail S. Gorbachev's strike ban and "anti-crisis" economic recovery plan ran into opposition Friday from a trade union chairman and the leaders of two of the 15 Soviet republics.
"No decrees, no moratoriums, can cure our sick society or reduce social tensions. All they can do is cure the symptoms," said Igor Klochkov, chairman of the Russian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, which backed a recently ended coal strike.The prime minister of the Ukraine and leaders from Estonia also objected to portions of the "anti-crisis program" disclosed Thursday by Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov.
The State Department criticized the ban on strikes.
"We do not believe that political and economic stability can be restored by suspending legitimate, peaceful, democratic forms of expression, including legitimate political activity and the right to strike," spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington.
The program grew out of a deal struck on April 23 by Gorbachev, Russian Federation leader Boris N. Yeltsin and officials from eight other Soviet republics who agreed to sign Gorbachev's proposed Union Treaty to preserve the Soviet Union.
In return, Gorbachev agreed to transfer to the republics ownership of most of the nation's industrial and natural wealth.
The deal ended months of tension, feuding and maneuvering among Gorbachev, Yeltsin and other republic heads. But the relative peace has been followed by uncertainty as everyone waits for an as-yet-undetermined political order to emerge.
Gorbachev met Wednesday with representatives of all the republics, except secessionist Georgia and Estonia, and they agreed on a plan that Pavlov said meshed the reforms already enacted by the central and republic governments.
Neither Pavlov nor Gorbachev disclosed specifics of the plan, however, and details could be gleaned only through the complaints by republic leaders.
"There is nothing novel about it. It is just another attempt to tackle problems without caring for republican sovereignty," Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin told the independent Interfax news agency. The plan, he said, "displays quite a few flaws and drawbacks."
Estonian officials complained that Gorbachev was demanding $302 million as Estonia's contribution to the Soviet budget.
"We have no intention of paying the sum," Estonian President Edgar Savisaar told the Estonian news agency ETA.