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PragmaticPaul OP wrote (edited )

The best baby steps I've experienced as a worker was when the foreman in our department at a factory was kicked out. The staff simply repeated we don't need a boss here, and finally the foreman and higher management backed off. To a large extent the department was then run by the staff. One more little step was that we as a group refused to work saturdays. We also started pushing for rotation between departments. I believe that can give workers better overview of production, more confidence and some more power.

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fortmis wrote

do you think this kind of action is inherently democratic? Did you vote amongst yourselves as workers to make decisions for the group? Did you have anything resembling elected leaders?

Depending on how you answer questions 2 and 3, I would say that what you have described isn't necessarily democracy (and I mean that as a compliment lol)

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PragmaticPaul OP wrote (edited )

We easily reached consensus about kicking out the foreman. When we refused overtime on Saturdays, one co-worker in our department wouldn't go along but the majority pressure changed that. Same thing with upholding an important norm: that we solve conflicts within the group within the group, not by going to the boss. Those who did go to the boss were disciplined by majority pressure and arguments.

We didn't elect formal leaders but had informal leaders as is allways the case in workplaces.

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fortmis wrote

disciplined by majority pressure and arguments

I don't love the sound of that

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PragmaticPaul OP wrote

How should the situation be dealt with, you think, when a worker goes to bosses that try to intervene and split the group?

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PragmaticPaul OP wrote (edited )

I should add that we lacked a formal union at the plant. If we had made formal majority decisions with meeting minutes, then all would have followed it without need for social pressure (that is no fun). Or at least less pressure.

Anyhow, as a worker collective we must resist the bosses who always push for more work, higher speed, less vacation, less pay etc. Even if individuals agree to working more and harder for less pay, the collective can't allow it. Because that would be to surrender to social dumping and more exploitation.

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