Thousands of Polish workers have walked off their jobs to protest higher meat prices put in effect on Tuesday but announced officially only Wednesday night.
About 6,000 workers at a tractor factory near the capital stayed home on Wednesday. The factory is in Ursus, which was the center of riots when Poland's government tried to raise prices in 1976.
Unconfirmed reports reaching Warsaw, said 3,500 workers at a car parts plant in Toew, northern Poland, left their jobs yesterday. There were no reports of violence.
Under the new marketing system announced by the official Communist Party newspaper Trybuna Ludu, the entire supply of many favorite cuts in this meat-poor country will be sold only at commercial outlets instead of the heavily subsidized government butchers. Prices are doubled, with smoked bacon now costing $2.60 per pound at official exchange rates.
Premeir Edward Babiuch warned on taking office in February that massive subsidies would be eliminated but attempts by previous administrations in 1970 and 1976 to increase food prices led to near-rebellion and forced the authorities to reverse their decisions.
Trybuna Ludu said the prices were raised because "there are no ways speedilty to improve the market situation."