INTRODUCTION: Agreement was reached in Poland on Friday night (30 January) between the government and the independent union movement Solidarity on two major issues which have caused industrial unrest.
LV, GV & SVs Farmers marching (3 shots)
GV Farmers outside building
SV INT Lech Walesa at meeting (3 shots)
GVs People outside building (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM empty street TO strike notice on door
TRAVELLING SHOT stationary presses & workers talking
GV Officials & solidarity members talking (2 shots)
GV & SV Walesa (right) and negotiator PULL OUT TO meeting in session (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Agreement was reached in Poland on Friday night (30 January) between the government and the independent union movement Solidarity on two major issues which have caused industrial unrest. The agreement covered the length of the working week and Solidarity's demand for access to the mass media. But a third issue - an independent union for farmers remain unresolved.
SYNOPSIS: Poland's three and a half million private farmers have been demonstrating for the same rights as workers in other industries. But so far the government has refused to give in, although the farmers claim that they are providing most of the country's food in difficult circumstances and with little help from the authorities.
Negotiations took place on Thursday (29 January) in the southern city of Rzeszow, the headquarters of the campaign for a farmers' union. They were held against a background of industrial unrest in many Polish cities.
Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity movement, was in Rzeszow to organise the talks. But the union men had received one of the sternest government warnings yet against continuing anarchy and industrial turmoil.
On Thursday night, the government said that anarchy in Poland was imminent. And on Friday, the state prosecutor's office issued a list of what it described as illegal activities in which the free trade union movement was engaged.
Polish workers were told that activities such as slandering state officials, occupying public buildings, denying workers access to factories and issuing uncensored publications carried heavy jail sentences.
But the warnings appeared to have had little effect. Strikes continued in two major industrial areas of southern Poland, and regional officials of Solidarity dismissed the government threats as 'scare tactics'. In the southern regions an occupation strike began as planned in all big factories, public transport stopped and only essential services operated.
Solidarity officials said they would call a one-hour national strike next Tuesday if negotiations with the government broke down.
After a meeting between Trade Union Minister Stanislaw Closek and Lech Walesa in Rzeszow, the negotiations continued for hours in Warsaw. Prime Minister Jozef Pinkowski and Mr. Walesa finally reached agreement on the two issues - but serious problems still remained.