A Dream Deferred: New Studies in Russian and Soviet Labour by Donald Filtzer, Wendy Z. Goldman, Gijs Kessler, Simon Pirani

By Donald Filtzer, Wendy Z. Goldman, Gijs Kessler, Simon Pirani

This quantity brings jointly the most recent paintings in Russian labour heritage, in keeping with fascinating fabrics from formerly closed records and collections. 16 essays, targeting peasants and staff, discover the lives and struggles of operating humans. Ranging over a century of dramatic upheaval, from the past due 1800s to the current, the essays are equipped round 3 extensive issues: employees’ politics, incentives and coercion inside business and rural places of work, and loved ones recommendations. the quantity explores the connection among the peasantry and the operating classification, a nexus that has been vital to nation coverage, oppositional politics, fiscal improvement, and family configuration. It profiles a operating classification hire by way of divisions and outlined not just through its courting to the place of work or the nation, but additionally by means of its family options for day-by-day survival. The essays discover many issues obtainable for the 1st time, together with the motivations of ladies employees, roots of progressive activism, the innovative circulate open air the good towns, socialist competition to the Soviet regime, reactions of employees to Stalinist terror, socialist tourism, peasant households in compelled exile, and paintings self-discipline at the collective farms.

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Very often factory owners, and managers of stateowned enterprises, made substantial funds available to support the mutual aid associations, thus making participation in them all the more attractive for workers. In , the pension fund at the State print works despatch office in Petersburg received a state subsidy of , rubles to “add to membership subscriptions”; this brought the value of state support to half that of the total subscriptions collected. Thanks to this type of weighty state support, the pension fund was able to save large amounts of money and provide solid pensions for its members.

Managers had the opportunity to learn about workers’ real needs and real attitudes. Workers could better evaluate the position of owners and managers in the course of discussions of issues such as social guarantees for those who lost the ability to work, or other circumstances under which a working person was faced with particular difficulties. Theoretically, the road was clear for the possible development of social dialogue in the framework of the legal organizations, especially since many of them declared that they had the right to mediate between employers  Steinberg, Moral Communities, pp.

The exceptions were the mutual aid societies set up on the initiative of employers and managers. Workers participated in such organizations by means of a strongly individual, rather than collective, type of membership, and through them the Russian worker became acquainted with a range of democratic procedures typical of west European countries. There is no general statistical information available on these societies, but it is clear that they were widespread across the country.  Most of these organizations were set up in large enterprises on the initiative of the state, the managers, or the factory owners; others brought craftspeople together with blue- and white-collar workers from smaller enterprises in a particular town or city.

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