Former Czechoslovakia

The Forgotten Workers’ Control Movement of Prague Spring

At the time of the [August 1968] Soviet invasion [of Czechoslovakia], two months after the first workers’ councils were formed, there were perhaps fewer than two dozen of them, although these were concentrated in the largest enterprises and therefore represented a large number of employees. But the movement took off, and by January 1969 there were councils in about 120 enterprises, representing more than 800,000 employees, or about one-sixth of the country’s workers. This occurred despite a new mood of discouragement from the government from October 1968. read more »

Workers Control: The Czechoslovak Experience

The discussion about workers' control or the general extension of industrial democracy raises for most socialists some fundamental problems of power in society; but not, it should be noted, for some of the more recent advocates of the idea. When Anthony Wedgwood Benn, for example, came forward last year with his contribution he was quite explicit in his view that "real workers' control" would fit comfortably within the existing relations of power : read more »