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Poland: Gdansk Shipyard, Solidarity's Birthplace, To Close

Warsaw, 6 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Workers at the Gdansk shipyard, where Poland's Solidarity union was formed, were told today that the yard will definitely close soon and its 3,500 will be thrown out of work.

Western agencies said the decision was taken because the shipyard had been unable to find a creditor bank willing to bail out the facility.

In August, Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz's leftist government announced the shipyard's bankruptcy, blaming it on bad contracts and over-employment.

Efforts failed to find creditors to finance a contract with a German shipbuilder, to build five vessels and allow the shipyard to survive with a reduced workforce.