POLAND: PROFILE OF SOLIDARITY

Created: 2/10/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Recent labor unrest ha* brought into sharper foeue theferent forces at work within Solidarity and the ambiguoue power exercised by its chairman, Leah Ualeta. Theee anomalie* will not b* resolved soon, and the union'* behavior will remain erratic. Solidarity is likely to reepond to heavyhanded tactic* byore united and militant posture. Over the short term, it will retain ite considerable popular eupport. sees

Solidarityoosely organized group of workers that shares distrust of the regimeetermination to change previous policies. Its members are committed to an independent union as the only way to protect their Interests, but they have only vague notions of how to translate this ideal into raality and do not understand or ignore many of the political sensitivities surrounding their task. %W

Solidarity's membership probably is0 million. The union's popular acceptance, however, extends far beyond its actual membership. It commands theand support of most Poles, and Its success thus far has increased its popular esteem. te%V

Host isembers are from the work benches of Poland's large Industrial plants, but members also are found among the white-collar workers and in universities. is advised by Intellectuals, Including dissidents, who provide political, economic, and legal guidance. The number of Solidarity activists nay run into ths tens of thousands. ^aeV

Differences on Goals and Tactics

All Solidarity leaders agree that the union mustoice in national dec is loosening and must aupport political reforms tbat help guarantee its existence, but

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they differ over how extensive union activities should be. Solidarity adviser Jacek Kuron, for example, believes the union shouldsecond power" that checks the party in virtually every area of decisionmaking. He and othersroader role hava been aided by the considerable grass-rootspreasure on Solidarity to takeumber of causes. MJM)

All leaders also accept the need to press the regime to make concessions, but the moderates believe large-scale strikes should be usedaat resort. Thehava usually won out on this issue, partly because of the realization that strikes can be turned against the union. fBnmt

Some union leaders and advisers believe thatshould keep political dissidents at arms* length to preserve the appearance that the union's primaryis worker issues. Many dislike Huron, but no one is willing to give in to regiavc pressure and expel him. mfpt

In addition, there are widely differing views in the leadershipiover what Moscow will tolerate. Some believe that the Soviets will intervene militarily only if there is extensive civil disorder in the country. Othersthat Moscow would act if the facade of the party's leading role is badly damaged. *Mf

if Thus far, however, the union has not reacted in any consistent way to threats of force by the regime, or to Soviet saberthough such threats may deter some within tbe union, they probably push many others toward greater nilltar.cy. ffMp

The union's national leadc.shlp facss its mosttask ln trying to control strikes aad other turmoil caused by local chapters. embers of the National Coordinatingnot have the inclination or power to settle every local problem. Mm}

On the other hnfmt. Ignoring local grievances fori any length of time risks letting them balloon into national problems. The national leadership also cannot afford to turn ita back on ite followers, and thus remains hostage to local militancy.

Walesa's" Position

Walesa became union chairman because of his long history of labor activism and his key cole in negotiating the Gdansk accords, and his standing has been strengthened by his charisma and political shrewdness. His position as Solidarity's leading spokesman, however, is not Hs has been outvoted atover the strike issues.-and has been criticized for taking. actions withoutu( the full leadership. %w$

Walesa probably will never try to "nictate union policy. His stress on worker unity will prompt him to take account of militant views, andflbeninority, to represent the majority views in good faith. He hUI continue to be an influential force for moderation,-end canprobably remain union chairmen as long as he wants; *

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Solidarity's internal problems cannot ba easilyby the reglma. Attempts to split the union would in all likelihood result in its greater cohesion and militancy. Arrests of militant Solidarity activists or of dissidents wouldnifying action and probably would leadonfrontation withmuch of the population on the union's side. 4sem

Outlook

Solidarity will continue to swing between moderation and militancy for some time to come. Any efforts by the regime to seek compromises to difficult problems will to some extent encourage moderation by the union but will not prevent such swings, t

Militancy in the union will be nurtured by adistrust of the reglee on tbe part of many workers and by the likelihood that the populace will continue to press Solidarity to resolve their grievances. Thevarious grievances willengthy process involving scattered unrest. The fact that the regis* cannot consistently showor risk appearing permissive and causing an Increase in demands--alao will feed sntireglne suspicions in tha

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