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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez




    :: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 ::

    Lech: A stinging rebuke - By Tony Paterson, The Independent via Hamilton Spectator
    First there were just grainy black and white newspaper shots of an impish-looking man sporting a huge walrus moustache and a tattered Walesa did not start the Lenin shipyard strike of 1980 that sparked Solidarity's birth.

    The dispute arose over a decision by shipyard management to sack a troublesome female crane driver called Anna Walentynowicz who had been fighting the bosses over better pay and conditions and had been demanding that the shipyard erect a monument dedicated to protesting workers who were shot dead by communist militia during the 1970s.

    Small groups of workers backed Walentynowicz by putting up posters.

    Shipyard management tore them down. There was an uneasy standoff until a small, chain-smoking electrician climbed over the shipyard wall and got up on a crate to address the workers. 'Ladies and gentlemen, you know me, Lech Walesa. I was sacked for making the same protests as Anna.

    'This time we will make sure she keeps her job,' he said.

    The date was Aug. 14, 1980 and the Lenin shipyard strike -- the first by what was also to become the first free trade union in communist-controlled eastern Europe -- was under way.
  • posted 5:40 AM :: reference link :: 0 comments ::
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