The workers' councils in Poland
Following the example of the Soviet Union, a number of the so-called "Iron Curtain" countries which emerged in eastern Europe after World War II quickly nationalized their major industries and established systems for central economic planning. In at least two of these countries, Yugoslavia and Poland, the failure to meet national economic goals and to satisfy workers' aspirations for "industrial democracy" as well as a higher standard of living became identified with the high degree of bureaucratic centralism characteristic of such systems. In both countries, an alternative was sought in the establishment of Workers' Councils as a step toward decentralization of economic administration and a measure to increase the scope and importance of worker participation in management. In Poland, however, the potential of the Workers' Councils for economic reform was never fully tested, and they now have little more than formal existence. In this article, Adolf Sturmthal traces the background of this development, describes the organization and functions of the Councils, and analyzes the political factors which led to their decline. (Author's abstract courtesy EBSCO.)
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Volume (Year): 14 (1961)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
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