Coates, Ken

Ken Coates
13 August 2011Feature

The struggle for democratic grassroots control of the economy has a long history, even in Britain. During the 1960s and 1970s, Ken Coates was at the heart of the movement for workers' self-management at one of its most vibrant periods.

PN: Looking over the postwar period in Britain, is there one experience that stands out as an inspiring advance towards workers' control and industrial democracy?
KC: The obvious thing is the UCS [in June 1971]. The government decided to rationalise the shipyards and close down the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders [with the likely loss of over 6,000 jobs]. The workers announced a work-in, that they wouldn't accept dismissal, and they'd work on and appeal for money from the labour…