Richard Hyman asks whether leadership and bureaucracy are synonymous, and looks at the meaning of rank-and-filism and structural limitations on union democracy. Although dating from 1979 this Capital and Class piece offers insights on themes raised in recent The Commune discussions on the nature of trade unionism.
The aim of this paper(1) is above all to stimulate discussion: firstly about the nature and significance of the changes which have occurred in British trade unionism (particularly at shop-floor level) since the 1960s; secondly about the implications of these changes for the analyses of union democracy and union leadership which are popular on the left.(2) Much of the argument is tentative or exploratory; constructive criticism will be very welcome. Continue reading “the politics of workplace trade unionism: recent tendencies and some problems for theory”