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Solidarity Ready to Discuss Preparations for TV Debate

November 21, 1988

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Three senior Solidarity advisers Monday said they were ready to discuss technical details of next week’s live TV debate between Lech Walesa and the head of Poland’s official trade union alliance.

The advisers also proposed holding the debate at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk and also suggested that Poland’s most famous movie director, Andrzej Wajda, be allowed to film it.

The statement was issued by Solidarity national spokesman Janusz Onyszkiewicz, historian Adam Michnik, and opposition activist Jacek Kuron, who were chosen by Walesa to settle technical issues of his Nov. 30 debate with Alfred Miodowicz, chairman of the trade union alliance known as OPZZ.

Miodowicz first proposed a TV debate with Walesa in an interview in the Communist Party newspaper Trybuna Ludu on Nov. 15.

Walesa promptly accepted Miodowicz’s challenge, saying he had long sought a debate with Miodowicz, who has headed the official unions since they were set up by the government in 1982 after it banned Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s first independent trade union.

Trade union pluralism will be the main issue discussed during the debate. Solidarity and the OPZZ hold opposing views on the number and organization of trade unions within factories and on the shop floor.

An OPZZ official said the union was prepared for a meeting with the Solidarity advisers to discuss the debate’s technical details.

″As far as I know if the representatives of Walesa’s side will come to us directly, if it concerns only technical details, I think we can hold such a meeting,″ said OPZZ Deputy Chairman Jerzy Uzieblo.

Uzieblo said there will be no moderator, although other issues still must be worked out.

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