POLANDi Bold New Proposal!
it-is* Minister Jaruseleki yesterdayumber ef boldthat will ocmplioate government-union relatione. His austerity program will probably generate substantial popular opposition and will be difficult for Solidarity to accept in its entirety. Bis two-month ban on strikesamble that will not prevent strikee and may increase the ohanaseore serious government-union olaehtrikeilitary field aotivity in and around Poland isdown, sm
To attempt to restore economic stability, Jaruzelski called for strict limits on wage increases and stressed the need to raise consumer prices. He alsoemporary cutback in increases for residential-contrary to promises by the government last fall.
The government probably will consult with Solidarity before taking any specific actions. Some leaders ofhave Indicated they are willing to agree to some economic stringencies, but in return will insist that the government meat some of the union's political demands, such as greater access to the media. Even if Solidarity is willing to endorse some belt tightening, however, it may have trouble selling it to its membership.
Jaruzelski's proposed austerity measures also may be intended merely to influence Poland's Western creditors, and specific actions will not necessarily follow quickly.
The Prima Minister cited Poland's desperate economic condition to justify tbe two-month ban on strikes and implied that, in the eventtrike, the military might be used to ensure the -unhampered" functioning of key economic sectors. His threat to resign if his request vas refused probably helped prompt parliament to approve
his proposal almost unanimously.
Jaruzelski indicated that the strike ban does nothange in government policy toward Solidarity. Be stressed that he ls prepared to maintain an active
dialogue with the union and to compromise on issues. Although he criticized extremist* in Solidarity and the union's "overreaction" to the events in Bydgoszcz,warmly praised union moderates, tm
Deputy Prime Minister Rakowskl claimed thathad been consulted beforehand, but union leaders in' Gdansktatement expressing "deep concern" over Jaruzelski'a proposed strike ban, calling it "unfounded and incomprehensible." They suggested that the ban might increase social tension and, ln any event, would nota strike if the union's security were threatened.
Jaruzelski's strike ban puts the Polish Governmentifficult position. The ban is intended, in part, to Isolate the militants in Solidarity by denying them their favoritedepending on tha government's behavior, it could have the opposite effect of driving the entire union leadershipore militant stance. Despite signs that Jaruzelski will -oake major changes in government ranks, he will still liave trouble controlling the actions of local officials and preventing local conflicts from mushrooming into national ones. #|
Jaruzelski may also have difficulty convincing ths union that the government is being as forthcoming as possible. The government, in turn, may feel lt has little choice but to impose martial law if the uniononfrontation over its unfilledjj
The government's attitude toward localwhich are probablybe another key to whether the ban will leadajor union-government confrontation. Tbe government Is probably willing to tolerate some local strikes. Zt will be nnder pressure, however, to remove strikers from factories and to punish them, if only by docking wages. The harsher theactions, of course, the greater the chancesajor confrontation, afj mm
Warsaw Pact military activity in and around Poland is returningormal seasonal level, and we areto see algna of routinefor the Soviet troop rotation that begins late next week:
prolonged stay of Marshal VulLkov in Poland.
Nonetheless, continued Soviet military concern over events In Poland is reflected byi
Moreover, the Soviets remain capable of Intervening in Polish affairs on abort notice with at least limited forcoaOriginal document.