Striking shipyard workers Monday rejected a compromise that would have forced them to end their weeklong strike and drop their demand for legalization of Solidarity in exchange for a pay raise.
"There is no freedom without Solidarity," the workers chanted at a rally Monday morning as they rejected the compromise offered by management following a four-hour negotiating session with the strike committee, union sources said.Piotr Konopka, an aide to Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, said the 400 to 500 workers at the shipyard repeatedly screamed "no" when told of the offer.
The tentative deal had taken shape in talks revived at the initiative of a Politburo member on Sunday, strike leaders said. Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak, a ranking communist party Politburo member, twice telephoned a lawyer acting as a mediator to revive the talks after they broke down late Sunday afternoon, according to accounts given by strike committee members.
The conversations between Kiszczak and lawyer Wladyslaw Sila-Nowicki, a former Solidarity member who has since agreed to serve on Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's consultative citizens' council, led to new talks.
As a result, the strike committee wrote a letter to management on Sunday in which it agreed to end the strike and postpone its long-term goal of reinstating Solidarity under the following conditions:
-Guarantee of safe passage from the shipyard for strikers and the people who have assisted them.
-Promises of no disciplinary action against strikers, including fines, dismissals or prosecutions.
-A wage increase of $38 dollars on the average monthly wage of the last three months, or about $105.
-Formation of a joint committee from members of the strike committee and the shipyard workers' council to oversee implementation of the agreement.
Management ultimately agreed to a raise of $39 monthly based on the average wage in the third quarter of 1987, when wages were somewhat lower, strike sources said. The average pay for that quarter was not immediately available.
In addition, strike sources said, there was a promise that fired Solidarity activists would be rehired, but only if the shipyard was short of manpower, and an oral promise that some unspecified political prisoners would be freed.
The number of strikers was only about half the 800-1,000 reported inside the yard Friday, according to Western reporters there Sunday. Walesa has remained among the workers at the plant. The strike began May 2.
A settlement would have ended a two-week wave of labor unrest which the government has said is threatening Poland's reputation abroad and its economic reform plans at home. It has been Poland's worst labor upheaval since the 1981 military crackdown the preceded the outlawing of Solidarity.
The union, born in the Gdansk shipyard in August 1980, was the first independent trade union in the East bloc.
Meanwhile, Poland's Roman Catholic primate, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, spoke out Sunday for the right of all people to participate in society's decisions. His sermon followed a statement Saturday by Polish-born Pope John Paul II that strikes can be justified and Poland lacked "true democracy."
And 55 intellectuals and oppositionists charged in an open letter that the government's policy of national reconciliation is a "game of appearances."
On Sunday, management told workers inside the shipyard they could face discipline or arrest if they did not leave by 6 p.m., said Konopka. The workers ignored the ultimatum.