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Polish Dockworkers Join Coal Miners in Pro-Solidarity Strike, Tying Up Port

August 18, 1988|United Press International

WARSAW — Dockers in the port of Szczecin seeking wage boosts and the revival of the Solidarity labor union refused to report to work Wednesday in the wake of a three-day-old coal miners' strike with the same demands in southwestern Poland.

The strike by about 1,000 dockworkers almost paralyzed loading and unloading operations at the Baltic port, an official said.

"About 80% of the crew--about 1,000 people--have been on strike since early morning," the port official said.

Solidarity sources said riot police maintained a tight grip on the Manifest Lipcowy coal mine near the southwestern city of Jastrzebie and confiscated food and beverages being smuggled to the workers who went on strike Monday.

Seven members of the 32-person strike committee representing 4,000 workers began talks with the mine management, but details were not immediately available.

A government official in Warsaw said the striking miners doubled their wage demands overnight and requested a 100% increase in daily pay from 3,500 zloties, or $8.10.

"If everybody demanded such an increase, it would have a devastating effect on the economy," said Tomasz Drzewosowski, a director in charge of the government press office.

As the Manifest Lipcowy protest entered the third day, workers at the nearby Morcinek facility in the same coal-mining basin began a sympathy strike.

"About 400 miners on the first shift refused to work," a spokesman for the striking miners at Morcinek said.

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