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WORKERS' CONTROL THROUGH INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY

1. Syndicalism, or Guild Socialism, stands for social justice and recognises the right of the individual to work for his family and himself, always provided this does not conflict with the well being of others. Syndicalism, therefore, will not interfere with individuals who own shops, who run farms and small workshops: in particular those who launch new industries. Teams of technicians may work on new projects in industry, but the initial invention or, later, the guiding ability is almost always the work of an individual or a leader. If the individual is destroyed, progress is destroyed. Syndicalism, therefore, will leave the way clear for individual initiative. All it demands is that such individuals observe the social law of adequate wages and suitable conditions of work. The individual shall be protected and, in fact, encouraged for the betterment of the whole.

2. Industries which have grown too big for the management of one individual will be Syndicalised. They will pass to the full control of those who work in them. The workers will form an Assembly, to take the place of the old shareholders:they will meet at regular intervals to elect the industry's Chairman, Directors and other executives from their own ranks. Each worker will have an equal vote after a probationary period. At the end of each year the directors will distribute the profits among the members of the Assembly. Similarly, the Assembly may be called together by a majority point of view at any time during the year for questioning the Directors. Chairmen and Directors will receive from the Assembly full executive powers to conduct the industry through an agreed period, at the end of which they will account for their stewardship to the Assembly, which will either dismiss them or confirm them for a further period.

3. Although control of industry will be handed to the workers in the shortest possible time, all cannot be achieved overnight. Therefore, some measure of part-control will be given immediately to the workers until full control can be arranged. This interim period will also serve to acquaint workers' representatives with the running of industry at top level.

In this interim period, half the Board of Directors will be elected by the workers from their own ranks. All qualified workers will vote equally and can attend shareholders' meetings. Of all profit distribute five per cent, will be shared among the shareholders, the remainder among the workers. A similar system of part-control will be adopted in the future, whenever new industries founded by individual initiative have grown to the point when one man cannot manage them and they are in fact ready for Syndicalisation.

4. Syndicalism stands for Workers' Control of Industry. The term "worker" covers managers, technicians and operatives, these expressions indicating functions and not social position. It is from the ranks of these workers that chairmen, directors and other executives will be elected by the Assemblies, as against, under capitalism, by the shareholders.

5. Workers' Control of Industry means Full Industrial Democracy. The Government will only interfere in this field if the people as a whole are being exploited by the pushing up of prices in order to gain undue profits. Elected by the people as a whole, the Government would act on their behalf. At all times the whole must take precedence over the part. The tendency towards unduly high prices would in most cases be checked, however, by preservation of a large measure of competition within Syndical industry, by curbing any attempt by speculators to rig the Stock Exchange against the workers, and by asserting the mastery of the people over banks and other financial bodies, thus forming them into true servants of industry and making more capital available for investment, through Government Securities, National Savings, etc. (See Point ii.)

6. Syndical Schools. Each industry will have sufficient technical establishments for the training of new entrants from educational schools. These Syndical Schools will also be available for the training of workers to fulfill the duties of directors and other positions of industrial leadership. Right of entry will be open to all who work in a particular industry, to prevent a new hereditary class emerging. There shall be opportunity for all, but privilege for none. Only worker-graduates from Syndical Schools will be eligible for election to industrial boards.

7. Wages and Profits. Every worker in industry will continue to receive the rate for the job as a basic wage, which will advance automatically as the national production increases. In addition, workers will be entitled to a share in the profits of industry: a worker's share will be decided by service and position. By the award of points for service and position Syndicalism will ensure that men and women are encouraged to remain in and build up an industry, yet not be penalised when age slows down their movements. Again there will be encouragement to workers to seek promotion, so tending to give industry the best men for the job. Workers who have to transfer from one industry to another will take their service points with them, but position points will vary according to promotion or demotion.

8. Industrial Insurance. To Syndicalists it is a grim injustice to pay a worker in sickness and old age a flat rate irrespective of his wages. Thus better insurance benefits will be given to all workers to enable them to maintain their normal standard of living. Sickness Benefit and Compensation for Injuries should amount to at least 75 per cent, of a worker's wage, and be payable immediately on incapacity to work. Industrial Retirement Pensions should be related both to past service and wage on retirement. These pensions will automatically advance with a rise in the cost of living.

Contributions to cover these benefits would be paid into a State Industrial Insurance Fund, part by the workers and part by the employer or industrial syndicate. The contributions would be on a sliding scale, taking into account a worker's wage and number of dependants. The scale of contribution would start at a minimum below which a worker would be a non-contributor, rising gradually for medium wages and steeply thereafter. Contributions of the employer or syndicate would operate inversely to those of the workers. In this scheme the rights of contributors to present superannuation and National Insurance schemes will be adequately safeguarded.

9. Redundancy of Workers. Each worker will be entitled to one month's pay for each year of service, if laid off through no fault of his own, with a minimum of one week's pay for service of three months or less.

10. Compensation to Shareholders. Syndicalists are determined to liquidate the hereditary burden of debt on industry. For this reason they will not repeat the errors of the Labour Party by committing future generations to a lifetime of sweating toil in order to keep the dispossessed shareholders and their heirs in idleness. When an industry is Syndicalised the shareholders will exchange both the privilege of electing the Board and their shares in industry for an annual pension amounting to not more than 5 per cent, of their share capital for their lifetime only. On the death of the pensioner any dependant will receive a life allowance of not more than half the original pension. Holdings by corporate bodies shall also be limited in duration to 25 years. These pensions and allowances, furthermore, will only be paid when the industry is making an adequate profit.

11. Future Investment.
(a) Private Savings. The public will not be permitted to invest directly in an industry once it is syndicalised, but will be encouraged to invest in Government Securities, National Savings, Municipal Stock and the like.

(b) Industrial Savings. Industry will be encouraged to lend at fixed rates of interest to a National Industrial Investment Fund set up for industrial development. To start the Fund an industrial levy of not more than i per cent. of distributed profits might be made by the industry itself.

In the above way industry has two resources for borrowing capital for investment at low fixed rates, either from the Government, through an Industrial Bank, or from its own Fund, in neither method can a new set of absentee shareholders emerge to control industry from the outside.

12. Development Council. Government will set up a Council of Syndical leaders, Trade Union officials, technicians and scientists, to plan expansion of industries, and, where necessary, the closing down of out-of-date industries before redundancy causes unemployment. By studying and anticipating changes in consumer demand, by arranging financial backing for new industrial projects, waste of national resources will be kept to the minimum.

13. Trade Unions. Syndicalists are united when they say that the organisation of the Trade Unions will not be altered in any way without the full consent of the workers. Labour Organisation will be the basis of Syndical procedure, and the support that Syndicalists must have in the future to be able to fulfill the destiny of the working class. Trade Unions, therefore, will play a vital part in assisting workers to take over control of industry, administering many of its details, such as Industrial Insurance.

To make Trade Union organisation as powerful as possible it will be made blackleg-proof by the introduction of 100 per cent. Trade Union membership throughout industry. Syndicalists will have no other power than that of labour.

14. Strike Action. For too many years this has been the only weapon left to the workers when management became immovable in its attitude. When industry is controlled by the workers, however, strike action and restrictive practices of all kinds would be directly opposed to the interests of the workers. But Syndicalism will always uphold the right to strike until the workers decide for themselves to abolish this last link with the bad old days.