Workers' control

Workers' control and nationalisationWorkers’ control means exactly what it says: the working class and its representatives in the factories have the right to inspect the books of a company or industry etc., to check and control all ingoings and outgoings, and the actions of management.

In The Transitional Programme, Trotsky explains that the first step towards actual control of industry is the abolition of “business secrets”. Business secrets, the accounts and the books, are of course used to justify all manner of attacks on the working class such as wages reductions, lay-offs, sackings and increases in working hours.

When the bosses claim bankruptcy, or claim they are losing profits, and demand such things, workers’ control allows the workers to inspect the books and ascertain the real situation. The idea is to lift the veil, to show the working class the detailed workings of the capitalist system as a step towards its elimination.

The immediate tasks of workers’ control should be to explain the debits and credits of society: looking first at individual enterprises to determine the share of the national income of individual capitalists and of course the ruling class as a whole. Another task of workers’ control should be to reveal to society the squandering of human labour and the naked pursuit of profits, as well as to expose secret deals, swindles, and corruption inherent in the system.

— From Workers’ Control and Nationalization

Title Created Date Author
Canada: GM Oshawa closure – nationalise under workers’ control to save jobs 27 November 2018 Alex Grant
Why we fight for workers’ control and management 06 July 2018 Rob Sewell, editor of Socialist Appeal
[Video] Workers' control, democracy, and power 02 March 2017 Daniel Morley
Venezuela: Against the economic war - workers' control and expropriation of the oligarchy 12 November 2013 Lucha de Clases - Venezuelan section of the IMT
Spain: Repudiate the debt, share the work and nationalize the Banks under workers' control 29 May 2013 Lucha de Clases (Spain)
Greece: Eleftherotypia workers offer living example of workers’ control and management 12 April 2012 Patrick MacDonald
Greek health workers take over control of hospital 06 February 2012
Venezuela: Workers’ Control, Challenges and the Revolutionary Government: An Interview with Elio Sayago, President of CVG Alcasa 09 January 2012 Lucha de Clases
[Audio] Erik Demeester on Soviets, councils and workers' power 06 October 2011 Erik Demeester
Venezuela: Revolutionary vignettes. Part 1: Workers' control vs bureaucrats, Mafia and multinationals in Bolivar 08 July 2011 Jorge Martín
Cuban CP congress ratifies economic guidelines – workers’ control and international socialism absent from discussion 07 June 2011 Jorge Martin
Venezuela: 900 representatives of factory committees meet to strengthen the fight for Workers' Control 27 May 2011 Patrick Larsen
Brazil: Manifesto in Defence of Flasko under workers’ control 05 May 2011 Movement of Occupied Factories
Venezuela: Chávez appoints workers to lead factories in Guayana – struggle for workers' control deepens 25 May 2010 Patrick Larsen in Puerto Ordaz
Argentina: International solidarity appeal – Stop the eviction of IMPA – a factory under workers’ control 12 August 2009
Venezuela: One year after the nationalization of SIDOR - Struggle for workers' control continues 23 June 2009 Patrick Larsen
Obama’s Auto Plan: Workers’ Control or Bosses’ Management? 03 June 2009 David May
[Video] FRETECO: Occupied Factories and Workers' Control in Venezuela 13 April 2009
[Audio] Visteon Factory Worker Occupations in Britain 08 April 2009 Will Roche
Indonesia: PT Istana, a factory occupied and producing under workers’ control 10 March 2009 Jorge Martin
Venezuela: “We have gone from the immediate demands to workers’ control” 05 December 2008 El Militante
Looking Back: The Lucas Aerospace Plan 24 July 2008 Fred McDowell
Sidor: “a socialist company can only be built under workers’ control” 26 June 2008 Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria (Venezuela)
SIDOR: multinational resists nationalisation - workforce moves towards workers' control 11 April 2008
HOV: Workers control under attack - The struggle for justice at Sanitarios Maracay continues 22 August 2007
Brazil: Cipla workers struggle to regain control of the factory as the campaign spreads 18 June 2007
Press statement by Rafael Prata, Communications advisor for Flasko, a company under workers’ control 04 June 2007
[Video] Sanitarios Maracay: Factory under workers' control 16 May 2007 VIVE TV
Nearly 1000 people march to the Miraflores Palace demanding the nationalisation of Sanitarios Maracay under workers’ control 15 December 2006
[Video] Sanitarios Maracay under workers' control 05 December 2006
Workers of Sanitarios Maracay march for the expropriation of the factory under workers' control 27 November 2006 Patrick Larsen
The workers of Sanitarios Maracay form a Factory Committee to implement workers’ control at the factory. 21 November 2006 Yonie Moreno
No to the closure of Sanitarios Maracay – The Bolivarian government must nationalise Sanitarios under workers’ control. 21 November 2006
Venezuela: Screening of new documentary on workers' control 05 September 2006
[Audio] Jorge Martin speaking on workers' control in Venezuela 03 May 2006 Jorge Martin
Venezuela: second march of the Revolutionary Front of Workers of Factories Occupied and under Workers' Control 07 April 2006
Statement of the Revolutionary Marxist Current on the debate on factory occupations and workers' control 07 April 2006
Workers' Control and Nationalization - Part Four 20 February 2006 Rob Lyon
Workers' Control and Nationalization - Part Three 03 February 2006 Rob Lyon
Venezuela: "Capitalist relations must be eliminated in production" - Meeting on workers' control in Guayana 31 January 2006 Andreas Bülow
Workers' Control and Nationalization - Part Two 23 January 2006 Rob Lyon
Workers’ Control and Nationalization - Part One 13 January 2006 Rob Lyon
Venezuela: Eye-witness report from ALCASA: Workers' control unfolding 06 January 2006 Andreas Bülow in Ciudad Bolivar
Revolution and the Struggle for Workers' Control 23 December 2005 Rob Sewell
Interview with Ruben Linares, national coordinator of the UNT - "The way is socialism and workers' control" 07 July 2005 Jorge Martin
Nationalise Rover under workers' control 25 April 2005 Kris Lawrie
Chavez nationalises Venepal under workers' control - “We want to liberate ourselves from capitalism” 19 January 2005 Jorge Martin
USA: Nationalize the Airlines Under Workers' Control 12 January 2005 John Peterson
Venezuela: "Workers' control is the only way forward" 15 August 2003
Bureaucratism or Workers' Power 08 December 1999 Ted Grant and Roger Silverman