INTRODUCTION: In Italy, Lech Walesa and members of the Polish independent trade union Solidarity on Thursday (15 January) met the leaders of Italy's three big labour federations.
SV ROME: Solidarity leader Lech Walesa addressing union officials at meeting and receiving applause (4 shots)
WARSAW: GVs Strike buses leaving depot (4 shots)
SV Union official checking buses out (2 shots)
GV Official directing buses out
GV Trams leaving depot
GV Trams stationary in depot behind locked gates. Union officials behind gates (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In Italy, Lech Walesa and members of the Polish independent trade union Solidarity on Thursday (15 January) met the leaders of Italy's three big labour federations. Mr. Walesa told them his organisation's aim was to reform the social structure of Poland and interests of all workers. The following day, the unions in the Polish capital, Warsaw, staged a four-hour transport strike. It was a protests against the government's decision to withhold pay from people who had refused to work the previous Saturday in another industrial action. A Solidarity spokesman said the strike had gone according to plan.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Walesa received tumultuous applause at the start of series of meetings with the Italian trade unionists. This was the first time he had been able to talk about the aids of origins of his movement to labour leaders in the West. He told them five out of every six workers in Poland belonged to the Solidarity movement, and that the forthcoming union elections would choose people from all areas of life and work.
The strike got under way in Warsaw at eight o'clock in the mourning. Observers said the strike was well disciplined, with organisers imposing firm discipline on workers who, twelve months before. hardly knew what industrial action was. Buses and trams flew Polish flags, a symbol of such action in Poland since the strike of last summer (1980).
The union leaders claimed a 100 percent unity among tram and bus drivers for the strike. When public transport was cleared from the streets, they were jammed with private cars and taxis.
Public transport workers in several other Polish cities went on strike in sympathy, some for shorter periods than the Warsaw gesture.