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Strike leaders In Gdansk ar* holding firm to their demands for free trade unions, and trap*thy strikesto spread, raisin? the real possibilitya-txonwide general etriko.
fc*th few options left, the regime yesterday was con sj.dering an agreement on free unions that in iffs'Tt wouldictory for the workers. The agreement could still collapse, howevor, escalating the crisis even zurther. While the situation is not yetthe changes for nutual miscalculation havesignificantly and the tine availably forcompromise is graving short.
The strikes have spread tc Poland's mining andheartland ofespite the injunction on Thursday of Gdansk strikeWalesa that workers outside the Baltic Coast renain on the Job fn at least sevaral day*,.
The prospectationwide strike-more real now at any time since the.crisis in Gdansk began more two weeks ago--has increased pressure considerably on the regime to resolve quickly the impaste ln Gdansk. This could most readily he done, of coucie, by theagreeing to strikers' demands (or free trade unions. Thin may now be close to happening. The gov-ernaont's expert-level negotiators have aqreed to the existence ct independent and autonomous trade unions separate fron the official trade unions. The strikers nave, forart, reportedly pledged to support the constitution and its provisions -hat Polandocial ist state and thatrty is the leading force.
Th* attractionboth tha Polish and Soviotof such an arrangement is that it would buyand would avoid otherthe use ofcarry greater risks and consequents.
Such an agreement, however, could be difficult to sell to either the Polish or Soviot leadership. Previous Co=numst regimes in Poland havo successfully avoided implementing promised reforms, but the present leadership might foal that it could not avoid implementingthis time, oven though tho measures would load to greater pluralismeakening of its status and role in Polish society. This also would be the primary Soviot concern. The regime also realizes that its own weakness and the .lew sense of worker power would make veryany reneging on its promise. The Soviets would fear the impact on other Eost Eurocoan countries-
Strike leaders in Gdansk agreement accord wou tions. It could:
publicly saying that is near, and the collapse of any preliminary Id leave the regime with few attractive op-
affords to pressure strike leaders into compromiseixture of threats andand by demonstrating that the strikes couldoviet military intervention. Such reminders in the past two weeks* have had littlebecause the Soviets havo not mace menacing gestures _
Offer party leader Gierekcapegoat. The strikers" indifferent reaction to the massive personnel changes last Sunday indicates that they want changes in policy, not personnel. Ciorok's removal, moreover, would leave hta successor with the same problems, could raise concerns in Moscow, and would remove from the scone tho person vfeo might be in the best position to defend regime concessions to th* Soviets.
Use force. The practical problem ot using force is that the strikes are so widespread that force could net be concentrated The us^ of force without first setting the correct propaganda stage carries th* real risk ofational outburst. The re gime may no .'onger feel confident that it can . count on its security forces, including th* military, to quash strikers whocod deal of sympathy throughout the country. fl**a>
hucch leader*e eroded some of theiroy appearing to slda too closely with theagainst the strikers. Nevertheless, it remain,institution tb.Lt has the prestige and influencea nationwide strike.
Although there are limits on what the Church is prepared to do, its leader, realistically see no other course for Polandommunist one and unquestionablyommunist Polr.ndoviet military occupation
Cardina. Wyszynski could privately counsel the strilti leaders in Gdansk to end their strikes. He could evena dramatic personal appearance. Pope John Paul Ii couldthrough ar.for ato work in the interests of the Polish nation. Such appeals might b* most effective when strikers camethe situation had clearly deteriorated. aTATessBV
A persistent and growing danger in the currentis that of miscalculation by one or all of The regime's hollow rhetoric and slogansnational catastrophe have not worked and are
rfinrihby Mny--lncludlng che strikers andAngers In the situation.
Conditioned by .uch rhetoric, they may not recognize th*
fSSl!^ 1Ch/catastrophe-suchovietat hand.Original document.