By Chris Smith

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Extra info for Technical Workers: Class, labour and trade unionism

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The integration of workers into the capitalist firm is contradictory. Modern conditions of production today offer the objective possibilities for the development ofgeneralised self-management of production and of the economy by those who do the work. But these possibilities clash with the capitalist structures of production relations and their profit criteria based on short-term returns to the owners, and also with 24 Technical Workers the companies' techno-bureaucratic structure which appears more and more as a brake on the harmonious development of their productive possibilities .

New' autono my d ue to special ised skills . Economi c secur ity Lo ss of autonom y. Deskilling. Decomposition of tasks; interch angable and ther efor e econo mic insecurity Autonomy Work situation Trade union fo rm Re-orientat ion to pr oduction poli tics. 'Wo rkers ' control. Bro ad er vision of production . Selfmanagem ent Orientat ion to consumption a nd economism - revolt against 'work' not ca pitalism - affluent work er Enterp rise-b ased uni on ism . Int er-un ion com mi ttees . Joint com bines Gen eral unions; industrial unions .

Therefore, large numbers of technical and professional workers are currently in conservative and defensive positions in relation to socialism: If scientific and technical workers are to be politically radicalized we must call into question and contest the content and orientation of the professional activities and skills, and thus contest the capitalist ideology with which science and technology are thoroughly infected. (Gorz, 1976, p. 165) Gorz also stresses the exclusivity of technical knowledge, the idea of a technical 'sub-culture' where language, techniques and jargon are partially technical but primarily a method of preserving existing power relations and separating technical workers from manual, production workers.

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