There were indications on Friday night (29 August) that a settlement to the mass strikes in Poland was imminent.
SCU Polish strike leader Lech Walesa.
GV People milling around Gdansk shipyard.
CU Couple talking and kissing through bars and shipyard gates.
GV Striking workers mill around gates of shipyard. (5 SHOTS)
GV INTERIOR OF Strike meeting. (2 SHOTS)
SV People listening to meeting on public address system. (3 SHOTS)
SV Deputy Prime Minister, Mieczyslaw Jagielski addressing strike meeting.
WALKER: "For the strikers, the talks became a general debate about freedom. Why were workers activists, arrested on trumped up charges? Why were devout Catholics demoted or dismissed from the army? And why was the government condemning the strike behind the backs of the workers. Thrown on the defensive, Jagielski insisted that the constitution guaranteed basic rights, a fair trial, and the right to work. And since the changes int he politburo, he claimed, there was freedom of information except in vital defence and economic matters."
REPORTER: BRIAN WALKER
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Background: There were indications on Friday night (29 August) that a settlement to the mass strikes in Poland was imminent. This followed the end of a marathon meeting of an experts' commission which includes representatives of both the Polish government and the striking workers. The strike leaders have so far declined to comment on the talks but say they hope to reach a final agreement on saturday (30 August).
SYNOPSIS: Before the discussions began, strike leader, Lech Walesa, described the position of the two sides as "separate, polarised and apart". He criticised the government's refusal to accept the principle of free trade unions.
At the Gdansk shipyard, where the strike began 16 days ago, workers waited for developments. The dispute has now spread far beyond the shipyard and is beginning to hamper industry throughout Poland. The strikers say they are not opposed to the government's concession to reform the existing government-sponsored trade union movement. But they say such a move doesn't go far enough and demand proposals for a free trade union. On Thursday (28 August), strike leaders met Poland's Deputy Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Jagielski, but as Brian Walker of the BBC reports, nothing was achieved.