Going Underground: Workers’ Ownership and Control at Tower Colliery



This chapter addresses the nature and limits of an alternative model of work organization in a UK coal mine. It charts the history and progress of the Tower Colliery coal mine in South Wales as an historic form of industrial democracy – the worker-owned producer cooperative – across its 13-year existence as a productive mine under the ownership and direct control of its workers. It further explores the argument that workers’ cooperatives are significantly different to typical work organizations, in that they are social movements, and that research into their experience can make a relevant contribution to the discourses of work and the sociology of social movements.


Social Movement Board Member Work Organization Social Space Union Membership 
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© Russell Smith, Len Arthur, Molly Scott Cato and Tom Keenoy 2012

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