Harry McShane’s description of skilled engineering workers in the early part of this century provides an example of the relationships between the nature of work and forms of social consciousness and behaviour. It was not greater pay alone that made skilled workers an aristocracy of labour. Craft work profoundly shaped their self-image and action inside and outside the workplace. Their knowledge of the job and degree of control of working conditions made them the backbone of emergent movements for workers’ control of production.
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