Strikers on Poland's Baltic coast returned to work on Monday (1 September) after winning the right to form independent trade unions.
GV Workers celebrating in Gdansk, Poland
SV PAN Strike leader, Leach Walesa, being carried shoulder-high by workers
GV PAN Crowd applaud
SV INTERIOR Mieczyslaw Jagielski (deputy PM) and strike leader, (Leach Walesa) walk on to dais and sit
GV PAN Crowd in hall
CU ZOOM IN Mr. Jagielski and strike leader, Walesa, signing agreement PAN TO Others signing (2 shots)
SV Jagielski and the strike leader, Walesa shake hands
(Monday 1.9.80) GV People going back to work. ZOOM IN TO Sign signifying no photographs to be taken (3 shots)
SV PAN Tram running
GV Queue of people waiting to buy newspapers (3 shots)
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Background: Strikers on Poland's Baltic coast returned to work on Monday (1 September) after winning the right to form independent trade unions. But at the same time, government leaders in Warsaw faced another industrial problem as miners in the vital Silesian coalfields remained on strike. The miners are insisting on the same concessions as those won by workers in the key strikes city of Gdansk. At the giant Lenin shipyard in Gdansk, workers began reporting for their regular shift at 6 in the morning.
SYNOPSIS: The news on Saturday (30 August) that agreement had been reached to end the strike was greeted by Gdansk strikers with enthusiasm. They carried strike leader Lech Walesa shoulder high through the yard, celebrating what they main-tain is their greatest victory in some independent trade unions.
Shortly before the signing of the historic 21-point agreement with chief government negotiator, Deputy Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Jagielski, Mr. Walesa pointed out that although the strike had not achieved everything, all that was possible to achieve had been accomplished in the current circumstances. Mr. Walesa said Gdansk shipyard workers now have independent, self-governing trade unions, and have won the right to strike.
Mr. Jagielski told delegates that the Polish State Prosecutor had been instructed to release from jail all people on a list presented by strikers. On Monday, most of the members of the dissident Self Defence Committee (KOR) detained because of their support for the strikers, were free. Among those released from prison was Mr. Jacek Kuron, the founder and leader of KOR, which had channelled information about the two-month labour crisis to journalists.
The Lenin's Yard open to western newsmen throughout the 18-day strike, again became a restricted area, protected by security guards, as the workers began returning to their jobs. And while the cities along Poland's Baltic coast returned to normal, authorities in Warsaw were agreeing that the settlement terms were practical. It's the first time that a strike has been settled without bloodshed in Poland's 36-year Communist history. Large numbers of police were on the streets on monday -- the only sign that anything unusual had happened. News that the strike ended on Sunday was reported through the eastern bloc. The Soviet media reported the development, but remained silent on the terms of the agreement.