Occupational Structure, Collective Organisation and Industrial Militancy
in the utopian visions of Marx and the socialist movement, the working class, made conscious of its fate by the conditions of struggle, was seen as the agency not only of industrial but of human emancipation. … Yet if one takes the industrial worker as the instrument of the future, or, more specifically, the factory worker as the symbol of the proletariat, then this vision is warped. For the paradoxical fact is that as one goes along the trajectory of industrialization — the increasing replacement of men by machines — one comes logically to the erosion of the industrial worker himself. In fact, by the end of the century the proportion of factory workers in the labor force may be as small as the proportion of farmers today. … Instead of the industrial worker, we see the dominance of the professional and technical class in the labor force — so much so that by 1980 it will be the second largest occupational group in the society, and by the end of the century the largest.
KeywordsLabour Force Trade Union Collective Bargaining Industrial Relation Union Membership
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