Vestas: what kind of management?

Submitted by AWL on 30 July, 2009 - 2:11

In conversations about what management they would like to see in the wind-turbine factories if they win nationalisation to keep them open, some Vestas workers say “workers’ control”, some say “any management, as long as it is fair”.

No-one has a good word for the existing top management at Vestas. Many of the workers who didn’t want to fight the closure explained their attitude as one of being glad to get out from under an oppressive management, however poor their prospects of a new job might be.

In other words, in apparently peaceful, conflict-free factories there was a huge underground well of resentment against unfair treatment.

There must be thousands of other workplaces, with no unions or with very weak unions, where the same is true: where workers seem submissive, but in fact smoulder with anger against their treatment. That is a legacy of thirty years of de-unionisation and increasing inequality and insecurity.

The anger can work its way through into demoralisation, depression, and reactionary rages. Or it can fuel ways to build collective organisation and a new sense of solidarity and dignity, as it has done at Vestas.

It is up to the left and the labour movement to make the difference here.

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