Print page

The Workers’ Movement in Russia

Simon Clarke, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK and Scientific Director, Institute for Comparative Labour Relations Research (ISITO), Moscow, Russia, Peter Fairbrother, Professor, RMIT University, Australia and Vadim Borisov, former Research Fellow, University of Warwick, UK
This major book surveys the development of the new workers’ movement in Russia under perestroika to understand how it connected with the workers at shop floor level and the national and local political authorities to whom it addressed its demands, and whose development it sought to influence.
Extent: 448 pp
Hardback Price: $183.00 Web: $164.70
Publication Date: 1995
ISBN: 978 1 85898 063 8
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
Perestroika’s fate was determined by the hostile reaction of the working class. Strikes, protest and the fear of working class action had a devastating impact, yet relatively little is known about the workers’ movement during this period.

This major book surveys the development of the new workers’ movement in Russia under perestroika to understand how it connected with the workers at shop floor level and the national and local political authorities to whom it addressed its demands, and whose development it sought to influence.

Drawing on a unique programme of collaborative research on Russian industrial relations from 1987 to 1995, the authors use a series of case studies to explain the gulf between the thousands of tiny independent groups, often based in a single enterprise or even a single shop, and regional and national organizations without a grassroots base. Extensive interviews with participants, tape and video recordings, as well as substantial documentary material are used in case studies of the 1989 miners’ strike in Kuzbass, the Kuzbass regional council of workers’ committees, the independent miners’ union in Kuzbass, Sotsprof in Moscow and the Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions. An extensive introduction puts these studies into context.

Political scientists, industrial sociologists and students of the transition process in Russia will welcome The Workers’ Movement in Russia which not only shows how perestroika touched the lives of ordinary people, but also offers a unique opportunity to study how spontaneous populist initiatives are institutionalized in hierarchical, bureaucratic structures.
‘. . . this is a valuable and quite unique book. It is all the more remarkable in view of the difficulty of systematic data collection in the chaotic conditions prevailing in Russia, and in its labour movement in particular. . . . this is an extremely valuable contribution to the study of the contemporary Russian labour movement. It presents systematically a wealth of data that shed important light not only on the workers’ movement but on Russian civil society in general as well as on its political system. No serious student of Russia can afford to overlook it.’
– David Mandel, Labour Focus on Eastern Europe

‘This important book chronicles the emergence of a new working class movement, and seeks to trace both its connections in the enterprises, and its impact on the political authorities. So little is known about this remarkable movement, that this work will fill an important gap.’
– European Labour Forum

‘. . . the book makes a very important and unique contribution to our understanding of Russia’s beleaguered independent workers’ movement.’
– Linda J. Cook, Slavic Review

‘However, this is a valuable and quite unique book. It is all the more remarkable in view of the difficulty of systematic data collection in the chaotic conditions prevailing in Russia, and in its labour movement in particular. This is an extremely valuable contribution to the study of the contemporary Russian Labour movement. It presents systematically a wealth of data that sheds important light not only on the workers’ movement but on Russian civil society in general as well as on its political system. No serious student of Russia can afford to overlook it.’
– David Mandel, International Review of Social History

‘. . . the immense wealth of detail will be of interest to advanced graduate students and researchers in the areas of labor relations, workers’ movements, privatization ideology and practice, and post-Soviet social and economic decline.’
– A.H. Koblitz, Choice