YUGOSLAV WORKERS IN TRANSITION: “BOROVO” 1989

Original scientific paper

Sven Cvek ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia
Snježana Ivčić ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Jasna Račić ; Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: pdf (356 KB), Croatian, Pages 7 – 34

Abstracts
The article is based on the research project Continuity of Social Conflict in Croatia 1987-1991, organized by the Center for Peace Studies and the Organization for Workers’ Initiative and Democratization, Zagreb. Our point of departure is the strike that took place in one of the biggest industrial Systems in socialist Yugoslavia, “Borovo” from Vukovar, in 1988. The strike was part of the wave of labor unrest of the late 1980s, a time of economic and political crisis in a country undergoing dramatic social transformation. Our main goal is to delineate, on a micro level of socio-historical analysis, the transformation of the unrest of the late 1980s, in our view basically of a class character, into the violent conflicts of the 1990s, now rearticulated in ethno-national terms. In this article, we look at the situation in “Borovo” in the period following the 1988 strike, when first divisions between workers start taking place. We relate the fragmentation of the “Borovo” labor force in this period to: 1) the structural reforms, including the dismantling of self-management and the consequent elimination of the last institutional possibility for the articulation of workers’ interests; and 2) the shifting ideological and material conditions, involving deep contradictions between a nominally workerist state and the reality of its “post-socialist” experience.

Keywords
Yugoslavia; transition; workers; “Borovo”; class conflict; selfmanagement