Printer strike shuts Polish press

Union printers demanding greater worker access to the mass media began a two-day protest strike Tuesday, silencing Poland's official press for two days -- an event without precedent in the Soviet bloc.

While an estimated 70 to 80 percent of the printers occupied plants and refused to publish national and regional newspapers, the year-old independent union movement Solidarity called on all citizens not to buy any paper that might be produced without the striking printers and appealed to railmen, truck drivers , newsstand operators, and journalists to support the action, which it said would be repeated if the authorities did not make concessions.

"Solidarity should speak about itself in the mass media rather than be spoken about," said Seweryn Jaworski, the deputy head of Warsaw Solidarity, adding that management had given assurances that there would be no attempt to interfere with strikers protesting an alleged anti-Solidarity campaign in the mass media and continued refusal by the authorities to give the union free access to the media.

Solidarity demands included a weekly 30-minute program on national television and one hour on radio, more paper for its own publications, and more space in newspapers.

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