Poland's communist authorities today issued a toughly worded statement warning that they would use security forces to break any strike by employes of state radio and television.
The statement, signed by Jerzy Urban, the government's chief press spokesman, also threatened journalists and technical staff with dismissal if they joined a broadcasting strike. It came on the eve of important talks with Solidarity over the union's demands for greater access to the officially controlled news media.
The talks, which will center on television coverage of Solidarity's national congress next week, were scheduled for Saturday after earlier being postponed by Urban, who said he was "too busy" for a meeting today.
Urban drew attention to Soviet concern by saying that radio and television form part of the Warsaw Pact's communications network. Any strike by broadcasters would be illegal and an inadmissible act against law and order, he said.
Solidarity has not announced any firm plans for a shutdown of radio and television. But a strike by broadcasters has been suggested by individual union officials as a possibility should the next round of talks with the government fail to produce satisfactory results.
The government's strong statement now was interpreted here as an attempt to make clear in advance the boundaries of permissible protest action. It was also no doubt intended to strengthen the authorities' bargaining position before Saturday's talks.
Solidarity has threatened a six-day strike by printers and newspaper retailers unless its demands are met. These include editorial control over television programs devoted to its three-day national congress, which opens in Gdansk Sept. 5.
A television commentary tonight accused the union of drawing up plans for a broadcasting strike. In such an event, it said, Solidarity planned to transmit its own prerecorded programs on radio and a test pattern with union insignia on television.
Solidarity officials in Warsaw firmly denied that any such plans existed.
Western analysts say the hardening in the government's position is partly attributable to strong pressure from its Soviet Bloc allies for a firmer stand with Solidarity. During talks with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev in the Crimea earlier this month, Polish leaders promised to launch what they described as "an all-out battle against counterrevolution."
Urban's statement added that the government is ready to call upon security forces "to provide all necessary assistance in ensuring the normal activity of radio and television." It reminded radio and television employes that "obedience to orders" from their superiors is a basic condition of their employment.
Despite the apparent hardening in positions, there are also signs that both sides would like to reach a compromise over the mass media. Solidarity wants to ensure adequate coverage of its congress next month and the government is also eager to avoid the embarrassment of another national press strike.
News that the negotiations over the mass media would be resumed coincided with the temporary lifting of a strike threat in the central town of Radom, where workers are demanding punishment of officials responsible for suppression of labor unrest in June 1976. A government team arrived in the town today to hold talks with Solidarity representatives.
The government press spokesman connected the decision to resume talks on the mass-media issue with Solidarity's appeal to printers in Olsztyn to resume work. He said he hoped "propitious conditions" would be created for "constructive talks" Saturday.
There was, however, no sign that the Olsztyn workers would end their 11-day strike. They have pledged to continue the protest until the government formally retracts an allegation that some printers were forcibly prevented from working during a national printing strike last week.