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Labor Strike in Communist Society: A Comparison between the Soviet Union and Poland
공산주의 사회에서의 노동자 파업: 소련과 폴란드의 경우 비교

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Authors
Leem, Kyung Hoon
Issue Date
2018-05-31
Publisher
서울대학교 러시아연구소
Citation
러시아연구, Vol.28 No.1, pp. 293-320
Keywords
Soviet UnionPolandLabor StrikeTrade Union‘Social Contract’소련폴란드파업노조‘사회계약’
Abstract
The present study explains the difference in labor militancy between the Soviet Union and Poland by examining causes and patterns of labor strikes in the two countries. Instead of attributing the difference in labor militancy between the two countries to the different conditions of “shop-floor politics,” this study employs a strategy of a macro-level approach to labor strikes, and examined the association of strikes with fluctuations in workers’ real consumption. On this basis, this paper attempts to capture the nature of the “social contract” between the regime and labor in the communist state. The main arguments of this paper can be summarized as follows. In both countries the primary cause of labor protests was the downfall of workers’ real consumption. The primary cause of the difference in labor militancy between the two countries lay in different degrees of fluctuations in the workers’ real consumption. Frustration of rising expectation such as sharp downfall of worker’s real wage repeatedly led directly to regime-labor confrontations in Poland. In contrast, the Soviet leadership localized labor disputes while avoiding a sharply rising expectation among workers and by maintaining a stable increase in workers’ consumption at the national level. The comparison of the two countries confirms that the legitimacy of communist rule was based mainly on the economic performance of the regime. The higher level of workers’ militancy in Poland was due to the lower level of the Polish regime’s economic performance i.e. the failure to keep the “social contract.” The labor quiescence continued in the Soviet Union thanks to the regime’s capacity to provide the workers with economic security and steady increase in the standard of living, particularly during the Brezhnev leadership.
이 논문은 소련과 폴란드에서의 노동자 파업의 원인과 양상을 비교한다. 이를 통해 이 논문은 공산주의 사회에서 정권과 노동계급 사이에 암묵적인 ‘사회계약’이 작동했다는 관점을 평가한다. 필자는 공산사회에서의 노동계급 집단행동에 관한 미시적 설명이 지닌 한계를 지적하고, 거시적인 경제변수가 노동계급의 집단행동과 전투성에 결정적 변수였다고 주장한다. 즉, 브레즈네프 집권기 소련은 노동자들의 소비 수준을 안정적이고 꾸준하게 향상시킴으로써 노동계급의 순응성을 확보한데 반해, 폴란드에서는 정부의 경제적 실패와 그에 따른 노동자 소비 수준의 급격한 변동으로 인해 노동자들의 파업이 반복되고 정권 지도부가 교체되는 악순환이 발생하였다. 소련과 폴란드 노동자들의 대조적 행태와 함께 공통점들도 추출해 냄으로써 이 논문은 국가가 고용주였던 공산주의 체제의 특성 상 공산주의 정부의 정치적 정당성이 소비와 복지를 안정적으로 제공할 경제적 능력에 의존할 수밖에 없었다는 점을 강조한다.
ISSN
1229-1056
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/147458
DOI
https://doi.org/10.22414/rusins.2018.28.1.293
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College of Humanities (인문대학)Institute for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (러시아문화권연구소)러시아연구 (Russian Studies)러시아연구 Volume 28 Number 1/2 (2018)
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