ALERT MEMORANDUM - POLAND

Created: 7/21/1980

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

ALERT MEMORANDUM

POLAND

labor AllimkWM inir* of Lblin could Become more intense and spread to other areas of th* eneaife, Polish authoritiesre having only linilcd success it controlling the increase in labor unrest in Lublin that has taken place ojer the past several days. A) addition, although okr in-fonmtioshe root of the Country is more limited, ve fear that tensions could be increasing throughout Poland. Ml know, for ajBSmpls, that Some agreement reached between striking Ucrters and factor* management elsewhere ray be coming ungluad. jhit has IH us to be tncreasiagte iwpnifcf that the strike* ogsU degenerateonfrontationthe)

Tho situation in Lublin has been particularly serious because:

stoppages have occurred in at leastactories, and unrest nas spread teyond the factorios and affected essential services.

workers havo blockaded Lublin's majoi railway arteries.

arc several reasons why the labor disturbancesanhen the regime implemented meat price increases .vvq continued to spread. The regime's Lactic of givingpercont wage increases only to striking workers has led some other workers to realize thoy can force concessions from rhe regime bv staging work stoppages. Workjrs in somo factories where strikes had ended havo galnco the impression chit pay hikes have beer, unevenly distributed, and they have walked off tho

--continued

3ff<

m

iob again, tn addition, onco strides have bequr., ave boon ratal no. grievances that extend beyond simple wage mcraASds,: which the regime mav findto noot. The workers seen deaf to the reqieo'sconoct--that balance-of-payments pre* lens and other econonic constraints requira austerity

Tho regme appears to havo two ways to deal withroblem. Thoattempts to meet somedemands throughiorek's policies over the onstears.he extent that it gives In to striking workers, others will bo encouraged to make new demands. At the rcment, tho koy question whether workers will be willing to cotaproeiise. ft

A conciliatory- approach would seriously set back efforts to ieprove the critical balance-of-oaynents Ie wouldhift of exports of foodther consumer goods to domestic use and/or an in food and other consumer goods imports. Word thathift of resourcoa was taking place would ccnplicita Polish efforts to borrow in Western capital -arkot->. tt is also likely that Poland would requestp jut from theCCC credits, for

The second option open to the reaime is to usemeasures, but Gierek is well aware that the ill-calculated use of force 0 brought down hisWladyslaw Gonulka. Consequently,6 disturbances over price increases, police faced rioting crowds unarmed. Ka would expect the regime to becautious and to seek to avoid the use of force,vc no evidence of increased alerts by police or units.

Soviet ReactLon

Moscow is undoubtedly watching the events instudiously ignored thea in

of tne two Soviet divisions stationed in Poland or Soviet forces in the western USSP bordering Poland. The Soviets

would be extremely reluctant to take mi'itory action underine when thay aredetente with the West Europeans and arei the Olympic Games in Moscow. For the time being at least, the Soviets are probably hopeful that

hosxperiences00 behind

eventually bring the situation under control and will

givetheir full support."

The Polish leadership appears united in itsapproach, and there seems to be no one who might exploit thc circumstances to try to bring Giorek down. The cegiste is trying to contain unrest byto Polish patriotismon. popular fears-has implicitly raised the possibility of Soviet Tho Church may be working behind theas it has in thecale the situation. Festering labor unrest could Regenerate rapidly into violence, and thc regime could be obliged to introduce force. If the Polish leadership proved incapable of restoring orderituation that had deteriorated.into violent confrontation, we br,-ve tlieould, ast resort, intervene.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA