Kuzbass Workers Council elected
By Steve Myers
Four hundred and twenty-five factory committee delegates, plus observers from across Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, attended the Kuzbass Workers Conference in Novokuznetsk this month. The Kuzbass is the biggest single industrial region in the world.
After the Kuzbass-led "rail wars" of 1998 failed to win the workers' demands, the workers have changed their tactics to copy the factory takeovers by workers at the Vyborg pulp and paper mill near St Petersburg and the Yasnogorsk machine factory in the Tula region.
The conference discussed at length electing factory management from workers themselves, workers' control and defence guards, and how to prevent the authorities, judges and police from intervening in "our factories".
The Kuzbass Workers Council, with one representative from each region, was elected.