By Bob Arnot (auth.)
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Additional info for Controlling Soviet Labour: Experimental Change from Brezhnev to Gorbachev
As Manevich (1980, p. 57) points out, even though the USSR produces large numbers of engineers per annum, a considerable proportion work in jobs for which they are over-qualified. Moreover, the location, either geogra- 34 Social Relations of Production and Economic Problems phically or between enterprises, is subject to control. For example, some cities have restricted access and the internal passport system can be used to control the freedom of movement of workers. Movement between enterprises and branches has and can be controlled.
There is also the obvious constraint that the choice of external emigration is absent. Finally, the labour laws in operation at any particular time will constrain the worker's freedom of choice. In a sense, therefore, the Soviet worker is as free as his western counterpart and out of this freedom is born the economic necessity to expend labour time, in order to receive the means to attain the necessaries of life. However, this freedom needs to be qualified. ), 1980, p. 16). This principle, enshrined in the Soviet constitution, is perhaps the major remaining gain from the October Revolution and creates a particular relationship of dependency, in so far as the individual enterprise cannot make superfluous workers redundant.
The second chapter begins to take up these questions. 2 The Political Economy of the USSR SOVIET PERCEPTIONS OF CLASS STRUCTURE AND WORK In order to begin to answer the questions posed at the end of the last chapter, it is necessary to consider the way in which Soviet political economists and their western counterparts regard the question of work and class structure. This is not an exhaustive treatment of the question, but is intended to point out common limitations in their work before developing an alternative analysis of work and labour in the USSR, linked specifically to the present performance of the Soviet economy.
Controlling Soviet Labour: Experimental Change from Brezhnev to Gorbachev by Bob Arnot (auth.)
Categories: Labor Industrial Relations