Workers on strike at one of two big Polish steel mills ended their stoppage on Saturday when authorities granted their pay demands, workers at the plant said.
The collapse of the strike, 125 miles south of Warsaw, after 36 hours eased the worst crisis that Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's communist government has faced since it dissolved Solidarity after imposing martial law in 1981.Strikers occupying the Stalowa Wola mill left soon after noon after being promised a $50 a month pay raise and other pay concessions, they said.
However, some 16,000 workers were still on strike at the giant Lenin steel mill near Krakow, Poland's biggest industrial plant, opposition sources said.
A Reuters reporter said by telephone from Stalowa Wola that about 2,000 strikers were inside the steel mill and heavy machinery plant when a vote on ending the strike was split 50-50 and the men slowly began leaving.
The last 70 strikers, including the pro-Solidarity strike committee, left soon after 2 p.m. local time (6 a.m. MDT). They marched to a church where they held a rally and sang songs. Several women wept, apparently frustrated by the strike's end.
However, strike leader Wieslaw Wojtas told the rally the struggle to establish a free trade union at the plant would continue.
"We broke the barrier of fear with our first strike since martial law," he said. "Our next protest will be more successful."
In another development, opposition sources said two prominent dissidents were put on a plane to Rome on Saturday after refusing to leave the country earlier in the day.
Kornel Morawiecki and Emil Ko-lodziej, leaders of a militantly anti-Communist splinter group known as Fighting Solidarity, were released from jail on condition they go to Rome, but they refused when they learned of labor unrest in Poland.
They were freed under an arrangement negotiated by Warsaw Church authorities and involving Polish-born Pope John Paul to send them to Rome for medical treatment, family sources said.
After refusing to leave, they were rearrested and taken from Warsaw airport to Rakowiecka Street Prison.