In Poland on Friday, (24 October) a Warsaw court registered the country's biggest trade union, Solidarity, following workers' protests and the suggestion of future strikes.
GV & SV Traffic Modern buildings in Czestochowa, Poland. (2 SHOTS)
LV Church in Czestochowa.
SV Workers walking towards factory.
LV Crowds going into Municipal stadium PAN UP TO Polish flag flying.
LV Photographers taking photos of Solidarity Free Trade Union leader, Lech Walesa (centre) at table in stadium.
LV PAN Crowd applauding.
WV PAN CU & LV Lech Walesa speaking in Polish as crowd listen. (6 SHOTS)
SV PAN Crowd standing and applauding.
SV Walesa greeted by workers as he arrives for Solidarity Committee meeting at Beirut steel works, Czestochowa.
CU INTERIOR Crowd applauding.
LV & CU Walesa speaking in Polish as crowd listens. (4 SHOTS)
SV Audience applaud.
SV PAN People lean out of windows as Walesa leaves. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: In Poland on Friday, (24 October) a Warsaw court registered the country's biggest trade union, Solidarity, following workers' protests and the suggestion of future strikes. But the court decided unilaterally to rewrite the union's status to include a clause acknowledging Communist Party supremacy. Union leader, Lech Walesa, told the court he acknowledged party supremacy but said he couldn't add the clause to the union's statutes.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Walesa went on an election-style tour of south Poland last week (18-21 October), drawing capacity crowds of between six and twelve thousand workers at each stop. His visit to the city of Czestochowa on Tuesday (21 October) was no exception. Thousands of workers packed the municipal stadium and the union leader's speech was interrupted by frequent applause.
Mr. Walesa told his supporters repeatedly during the tour that if the registration process was not completed by the 20th of October the union would go ahead with elections and other activities.
The Solidarity movement, which claims a membership of more than six million workers, was set up as the Soviet Bloc's first free trade union under terms of an agreement with strikers in northern Poland in August. Recognition of the movement in the Warsaw Courts had been held up mainly because the union refused to include the clause in its statutes accepting the leading role of the Communist Party in Poland.
The courts also raised objections to a clause which barred managers and party officials from being elected to union office.
Mr. Walesa greeted local solidarity movement leaders at the Beirut Steel works in Czestochowa and reiterated his statements throughout the tour that Solidarity was too big to be pushed around. Mr. Walesa, who led the stickers last August, said he had not wanted to call a new strike. He said he was aware of the economic losses another strike would entail, but since it had been the movement's weapon, it could not give up using it.
A meeting on Monday (20 October) of the Union's National Committee had considered a proposal to call a strike to protest against the delays. The decision on Friday (24 October) to insert the supremacy clause appeared to contradict an agreement with solidarity and throws open again the whole question of registration.