In the late 1990s, plans to outsource track maintenance on the London Underground were being pushed through by the government. Workers at one depot responded by forming a new workplace group, both inside and outside the existing union, the RMT. This pamphlet charts the highs and lows of the Workmates collective, highlighting their successes and failures, their radically democratic organising method and their creative forms of direct action. We hope it can provide an inspiration to other workers frustrated with the limits of the existing workplace organisations.
The issue of labor discipline lay at the very heart of the antagonistic relationship between the Soviet elite and its work force. Soviet industry was plagued with high labor turnover, absenteeism, heavy drinking, and slow work. Don Filtzer explains how this encouraged the system's eventual collapse.