Millions of Polish workers went on strike for an hour Wednesday in defiance of the country's Communist authorities. The strike, which began at noon with factory sirens blaring, was the second-biggest nationwide protest ever mounted by the 9.5 million-member Solidarity union.
The strike was meant as a show of strength only 10 days after Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Army chief and prime minister, became Communist Party leader with a mandate for tough action and a strike ban.
Solidarity called the stoppage to protest food shortages, a police crackdown on union activists, and government refusal to transfer control over the economy to a nonparty council.
A meeting of the Communist Party Central Committee, where possible changes in party apparatus were to be discussed, took place two hours after the strike.