INTRODUCTION: The fate of the Polish free trade union movement, Solidarity, remains in doubt after Sunday's (13 December) declaration of martial law.
PARIS, FRANCE (VISNEWS - PIERRE RIHOUET)
SV Vladimir Borisov speaks in Russian
SV ZOOM IN CU Borisov
Background: INTRODUCTION: The fate of the Polish free trade union movement, Solidarity, remains in doubt after Sunday's (13 December) declaration of martial law. Solidarity officials have said their organisation is strong and intact, but the authorities are known to have arrested most of its leadership. A Soviet free trade union which has been forced underground, has issued a statement on Wednesday (16 December) about developments in Poland. The statement was made by Vladimir Borisov, a member of the movement, who lives in exile in France.
Vladimir Borisov speaks for SMOT, the Interprofessional Union of Free Workers in the Soviet Union. SMOT was the result of the second attempt to establish a free trade union in Moscow in October, 1978. Its members were arrested almost immediately, or, like Vladimir Borisov, deported to the West. The union has now gone underground, but publishes regular bulletins in support of workers' rights in the Soviet Union and in sympathy with Solidarity. Vladimir Borisov delivered this statement in Paris on behalf of SMOT.
He said the imposition of martial law in Poland was not an affair which concerned only the Poles. He said this was because the military action on Sunday (13 December) had also broken international agreements. If the rights of man were violated said Mr. Borisov, it concerned the whole world. The Soviet trade unionist said that General Jaruzelski's action was only made possible because of the protection afforded him by Soviet weapons.
On behalf of the Soviet trade union movement, he issued a call for a protest against the recognition which he said, Western countries had effectively given to the new regime in Poland. He said his movement protested against the repression of Polish workers, and the arbitrary arrest of their representatives in Solidarity.
SMOT, he said, appealed to all trade unions in the West to boycott all forms of scientific and technical aid to Poland, with the exception of medicines. Mr. Borisov added that, isolated and deprived of Western investment the military regime would not survive.
After Mr. Borisov's statement on Wednesday (16 December), the Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions on Thursday (17 December) called for Western governments to halt aid to Poland. The organisation insisted that martial law must be abandoned and Solidarity officials released. A Solidarity official had earlier apparently told the Confederation that aid to the Warsaw government would strengthen the military rulers. Western governments have so far refrained from blocking shipments of aid to Poland. The United States governments has yet to reach a decision on future assistance until the situation in Poland becomes clearer.