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Labor pact offers Poland a model

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY CLARA GERMANI / July 28, 1981



Warsaw

The settlement whereby LOT, the state-owned Polish airline, diverted a strike that threatened to ground it indefinitely has set a precedent for industrial peace in this country, Monitor correspondent Eric Bourne reports. A dispute between the government and the new independent labor movement was resolved through arbitration for the first time.

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A clash between the government and Solidarity, which represents most airline employees, arose when the government refused to accept the workers' choice for director. After a one-hour "warning" strike, the two sides agreed to independent arbitration between a government team and management experts from the unofficial group of intellectuals called Experience and the Future, which proposed far-reaching reforms before the present crisis exploded last summer.

Under the agreement, the airline will be governed by a board divided evenly between government and employees. The chairman will be nominated by the government, and LOT will have full control of financial and economic responsibilities.

The agreement will serve as a model for other enterprises of state and economic significa nce, such as the railroads, the mint, and state forests.