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By Simon Clarke; Sarah Ashwin;

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Only the rapid replacement of the founding President of FNPR by the more conciliatory leader of the Moscow trade unions, Mikhail Shmakov, enabled FNPR to survive the crisis and, much chastened, commit itself to achieve its aims through participation in the institutions of social partnership and lobbying in legislative bodies. After the disastrous experiences of 1991-3, the FNPR leadership has been wary of organising collective actions and has generally only done so under pressure from the activists.

This was followed by provisions regarding pay, which implemented the centrally determined tariff scales and norms, and the right (and duty) of workers to participate in production conferences, where they were supposed to put forward suggestions for increasing productivity and improving conditions. The typical agreement specified the extent of training and re-training to be provided, and resolved to improve labour discipline. The only real scope for modification of the standard terms of the collective agreement lay in the final section which dealt with health, housing, social and welfare provision, spelling out the details of the enterprise's social development plan, which could include the provision of facilities out of the enterprise's own funds, and this was usually the only section in the formulation of which the trade union played any role.!

Conflict was therefore highly personalised. If a shop or department was not able to make its production targets, levels of overt conflict would increase as workers failed to earn their bonuses, the manageability of the department would decline and the situation would deteriorate further, blame for the situation being attached to the responsible manager. In such circumstances senior management and the workers had a common interest in removing the apparent source of failure, and this common interest might be expressed through the trade union: the workers might appeal to senior management directly or through the trade union representative and the trade union might intervene, usually with the support of senior management and the Party, and demand the removal of the guilty manager.

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