At the Lenin Shipyard, the mood is subdued as workers from the first shift leave at 2 p.m. to the loudspeaker's blare about the virtues of work and the sins of anarchy.
Inside the yard, in the hall where the unprecedented labor agreement of 1980 was signed and where the leadership of the independent trade union Solidarity held many meetings, including their last, the bulletin board carries a sampling of the standard new official slogans in Poland: "Help armed forces and public order services in liquidating anarchy and lawlessness," "Severe laws of martial law are the shortest way of stabilizing life," and "Counterrevolution in Poland won't succeed."
The myriad of Solidarity posters that had once signaled a tide of change in Poland are missing since the government declared martial law Dec. 13 and closed this city to foreigners. Yet floral wreaths decorate the monument to those killed in past labor strife and workers ponder the fate of union officials. Government officials said Tuesday a ranking Solidarity leader, Miroslav Krupinski, is facing trial.
If the official campaign to subdue Poland is to succeed, this Baltic port town, which remains the focal point of Polish worker defiance, must be tamed. But the struggle here is at a standoff.
"Winter is yours but spring will be ours," proclaims a warning to authorities, written in chalk on the door of a storage shed along one of the harbor piers in neighboring Gdynia. Underneath, scratched into the metal door, is the signature Solidarity.
The saying is heard elsewhere in Poland these days. It means that while the government may have won the first round, the workers--once the weather warms, once underground organizations are built up, once the bite of new price increases have had time to cut into household savings and breed fresh anger--will rise up again.
"People here don't feel defeated yet," said one worker standing outside an assembly shed in Gdansk's famous Lenin Shipyard. "We don't think Solidarity is finished."
He was talking to a batch of reporters who, streaming off several buses and vans driven into the yard, suddenly circled around him and others nearby in what must have been an overwhelming encounter. The reporters had been brought to the city Tuesday on a government-sponsored trip.
The shipyard was peaceful for now, workers said, although a demonstration outside the gates that erupted into a battle with police Jan. 30 reflected how high emotions still run here.
The workers were angered by the repression and the sharp increases in food prices last week, but they said they were biding their time. On the union question, they said they are waiting for the government to publish, sometime later this month, its new guidelines for the country's labor movement.
In the meantime, is there a slowdown under way in the shipyard, a worker is asked.
"We could certainly be working harder and faster," he said, grinning in response.
"People are working because their wages are tied now to output," explained Tadeusz Deptala, a shipbuilding supervisor and 25-year veteran of the yard. "But the enthusiasm is gone. The mood? People are angry, but also I think afraid."
Deptala was a Solidarity member and said he missed the union.
"Of course I miss it, but I doubt it will be restored in the same shape it was. The political issues will be out." If there are to be new leaders, however, Deptala said the workers are still counting on having a say in their election.
For now, however, life has settled into a routine here. Traffic around Gdansk and Gdynia looked relatively light, but the shuffle of shoppers along the sidewalks in both cities seemed to represent a normal level of business activity. All stores appeared to be open, with lines of customers outside them as for months before.
Military roadblocks were set up on the road between the cities, but except for several tanks and armored personnel carriers around the Gdansk Airport, no armored vehicles were in evidence along the highways.
Outside the gates of the Lenin Shipyard, there are wreaths of flowers at the base of the three crosses monument dedicated in 1980 to the workers who died in battles with police during the 1970 labor uprising here.
But on a white wall nearby, painted sloppily in huge black letters, were the words: "Free all politicals."
A Communist Party official in Gdansk, Edward Kijek, scoffed when asked about the slogan promising a rebuff from workers this spring. He dismissed it as another instance of Western propaganda intended to inflame Poland.
Authorities preached the need to get the country back to work and to stop mixing union affairs with politics. But their answers were vague on the one point workers seemed most anxious about: the future shape of Poland's trade union movement.
The government has indicated that it will allow some sort of union movement after martial law is lifted, although officials have insisted that the union must keep out of political affairs. But most Solidarity leaders are being detained. In fact, Gdansk's regional prosecutor, Bronislaw Medejski, disclosed to reporters on the visit that among those arrested was Miroslaw Krupinski, vice chairman of Solidarity and an organizer of a shipyard strike protesting the military crackdown. Although Krupinski has been hospitalized for a heart ailment, he is expected to recover, the prosecutor said, and his case is pending in military court.
As for the fate of individual workers, only three out of 7,000 at the Gdynia harbor and only about two dozen out of nearly 15,000 at the Gdansk shipyard were said by officials to have been interned or arrested. Authorities at both enterprises, moreover, stated that there were no layoffs as a result of the crackdown, contradicting statements by some workers.
The size of the Lenin Shipyard crew dropped by 600 from 14,900 to 14,300, the yard's director said, when it reopened Jan. 4 following a three-week recess imposed when workers here protested the declaration of martial law.
But the labor cuts were attributed to the start of an early retirement program. The director added that some of those who did not return to work simply had decided to stay in their towns or villages, having had enough of the disturbances in the shipyard.
There have been other changes. The shipyard has a new director. Stanislaw Zaczek, who ran the yard from 1970 to 1976, came back to take the place of Stanislaw Gnieck, said to be on an extended vacation at the moment. The return of Zaczek was greeted by some workers as an attempt by the government to turn back the clock.
The Communist Party chief in Gdansk also has been replaced. Tadeusz Fiszbach, a moderate, pragmatic man who as first secretary had been able to reach an accommodation in this district with Solidarity, is gone. Now trying to build the party's regional branch here, which lost about 12,000 of its 100,000 members last year according to official figures, is Stanislaw Berger, a former maritime minister. Both resignations were said to have been voluntary.
"There are moments in people's lives when they must leave and new ones come," said party official Kijek about Fiszbach's going, making it sound part of the natural ebb and flow of history.
Kijek, who is the local party secretary for agriculture, displayed a feisty, challenging tone in his answers. He left reporters wondering whether this reflected a new fighting attitude in the party and, if so, how this would play against any future discontent among workers'.
The demonstration here on Jan. 30 marked the largest confrontation in Poland since martial law was declared. It was portrayed in the officially controlled press as largely a youth action, staged in connection with the Reagan administration's "Solidarity Day." But officials here acknowledged that a number of workers had joined the rally, which formed at the shipyard monument and grew to 3,000 persons. Two dozen workers were reported among the 205 subsequently detained.
There were rumors in Gdansk this week, noted by workers and officials here, of another demonstration planned for Feb. 12 or 13.