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5. Rationalization

Although the war increased the pressures to produce, the urgent effort to rationalize the productive forces should not be attributed solely to the necessities of this conflict. Anarchosyndicalists of various shades of opinion advocated the development of the means of production through rationalization before the civil war and Revolution erupted. Indeed, one cause of the civil war and Revolution was the inability or unwillingness of Spanish capitalists to create and sustain modern industries. It was the resulting low standard of living for many workers that inspired working-class organizations—with varying degrees of success—to concentrate, standardize, and modernize the backward industrial structure.

In textiles, the most important industry in Barcelona, both the CNT and the UGT of Badalona, the city’s industrial suburb, agreed on collectivizing and merging the firms into “a single industrial organization.”[1] The unions argued that concentration would improve productivity and encourage mass production. It would not only eliminate the many small and inefficient firms but would also end work done at home, trabajo a domicilio, which was often considered responsible for low wages. After 19 July 1936 such work was said to have disappeared; some collectives paid a weekly sum to workers who brought their sewing machines into the factory. Concentration would also lay the basis for a thriving national economy, and the CNT planned to reduce imports by planting cotton, pita, hemp, and other plants to free the textile industry from foreign sources of raw materials. The collectives would strive for Spanish economic independence.

The unions had similar plans for the construction industry. As in even advanced capitalist nations, this industry was dispersed into small units and employed approximately thirty-five thousand workers in Barcelona, the great majority of them in the CNT. The unions concentrated and coordinated many small firms and gradually consolidated an amalgamation, which employed approximately eleven thousand workers in workshops of twenty-five to four hundred members.[2] By the beginning of September 1937, the CNT Building Union claimed—perhaps with some exaggeration—that it had eliminated “parasitic” intermediaries and had concentrated three thousand shops into one hundred twenty “great producing centers” that supposedly mass-produced.[3] It retained a number of former employers as technical advisers at the standard wage for workers.

The tanning and leather industry of Barcelona, however, revealed a considerable distance between desires for concentration and the harsh reality of a wartime economy. Both unions noted that despite the profits of World War I, the industry remained backward.[4] According to the CNT, after 19 July the seventy-one tanning factories of Barcelona were collectivized, and their number was quickly reduced to twenty-five, in which, “with the same personnel and the consequent savings of machinery and tools, the same amount of production was realized as in the seventy-one tanneries under bourgeois administration.”[5] Distribution was centralized, and an energetic attempt to export was organized “with the goal of independence from the rapacity of the capitalist system.”

Yet the concentration of this and other industries was more difficult than the CNT admitted. The subservient status of Catalan industry, which the anarchosyndicalists had so decried, haunted the revolutionaries during the war. The need for foreign materials, markets, and transportation facilities hindered the grouping and integration of companies belonging to foreigners. Since the peseta’s value continued to fall and Republican carriers might be sunk by the enemy, British currency and English ships were necessary to transport indispensable chemicals and fuels. The protests of the British consulate delayed plans to concentrate the leather and shoe industry, whose larger firms had attracted British investors.[6] Likewise, the directors of Catalan railroads, telephones, and (as we shall see) utilities were obligated to negotiate with their former owners and managers.

In the chemical industry the process of concentration was slowed by the difficulty of coordinating the needs of individual firms, the unions, and the state. The Generalitat’s Chemical Council, composed of four technicians, four UGT representatives, and four CNT delegates, was not empowered to take coercive measures against workers. When UGT workers’ “indiscipline” harmed production in a glue factory, the council was forced to call on that union to restore order.[7] In June 1937, the concentration of the soap industry, which employed eleven hundred workers in forty firms in Barcelona, was still being “studied.” A month later the council was able to fix soap prices, but concentration of the industry seemed no more definite. The opposition of the Italian firm, Pirelli, which was by far the largest producer of cables and insulating materials, was also a major obstacle.[8] Perhaps in order to maintain their autonomy, collectives were reluctant to provide the Generalitat’s Chemical Council with information and statistics. In June 1938 inspectors were ordered to investigate enterprises that had not responded to census questionnaires.[9]

The division of power and the lack of a strong state not only hindered the process of concentration but also blocked the rational distribution of raw materials. Republicans and revolutionaries needed the equivalent of the Raw Materials Section that had functioned in Germany in the early years of World War I. In a situation where supplies were costly or impossible to acquire, some CNT firms and unions would hoard their stock of fuel or other necessities; others might sell them without authorization or at inflated prices.[10] The Barcelona UGT undoubtedly used precious foreign currencies for partisan purposes when it sent militants to Paris to purchase arms.[11] The power industry devoted valuable time and money to electrifying the town of Llivia, a small Spanish enclave inside France, in order to improve the image of Catalonia in the eyes of foreigners. Despite the opposition, which argued that resources should be used to unify the industry and bring electricity to more important Catalan towns, the committee decided “to demonstrate to the foreigner that the workers do things better than…the previous economic organization.”[12]

Regional divisions complicated the problem; both CNT and UGT leaders complained that the national government at Valencia ignored Catalan needs. The Valencian administration supposedly refused to supply required chemicals to Catalan textile firms that had not paid their taxes.[13] Catalan railroad workers asserted that Valencia had not rationally organized the distribution of wagons, and that outside Catalonia many cars sat vacant and inactive, even though the railroads had been declared a key industry.[14]

In many industries, wartime conditions made concentration and reorganization necessary. Military conscription opened positions and required a redistribution of manpower; in addition, the loss of markets and raw materials made many workers redundant. Bombardments destroyed capital goods and forced a new division of machinery and personnel. For example, despite opposition from those who were transferred, the CNT Automobile Union was determined to move workers where they were needed.[15] Other enterprises made a special effort to ensure that “indispensable” status was granted only to workers who were absolutely necessary for production. Managers gained the authority to transfer personnel specifically for disciplinary purposes.[16]

The best documented example of industrial changes may be in Catalonia’s industries of gas and electricity where militants attempted to unify and coordinate the 610 electrical companies. It is interesting to note that the figure of 610 was uncertain; the problematic state of statistics was itself a sign of the industrial backwardness that hindered the unification of the industry. A leading CNT militant of the Water, Gas, and Electricity Union commented in November 1936:

Unification creates many difficulties. The figures are not exact. We do not know if there are 605 or 615 small ex-firms (ex-empresas) that exist in Catalonia, and I have put the average at 610.

Of these 610 ex-firms there are only 203 that are producers of energy.…This means that some 407 ex-firms resell electricity. This is intolerable and is the fruit of the situation before 19 July.[17]

Although all militants agreed on the principle of unifying an industry so dispersed and scattered, the actual process of concentration was slow and full of obstacles. The new managers of the CNT and the UGT immediately confronted the problem of how to deal with technicians in restructuring this branch. Not surprisingly, given the conditions of the most advanced industries in Catalonia, the problem of the experts was complicated by the fact that many of them were foreigners. The nationalism of union leaders approached xenophobia; some committee members admitted that they had a “phobia against foreigners.”[18] Others asserted, “Everything that is within Spanish territory must be exploited by Spaniards.” The Control Committee dismissed some of the most unpopular or incompetent technicians, whether Spanish or not.[19] Yet the managing committee feared difficulties if the foreigners abandoned their former companies en bloc. After many—but not all—did depart, the ruling committee found it hard to find replacements and had to confront the resistance of the local committees, which sometimes refused to accept the technicians recommended by the head office.[20] In addition, the power industry found it difficult to retain its own experts whose skills were also demanded by the military.

Managers not only depended to an extent on foreign technicians but also on foreign capital and, more generally, international goodwill. Because of the cutoff of its usual supply of Asturian coal and the poor quality of Catalan coal, the region needed foreign coal to produce gas. Fearing Nationalist attacks and suffering the blockade of loyal shipping, Catalans had to use foreign ships to transport energy supplies. The latter could be purchased only with gold or foreign currencies. Therefore, some gesture was required to demonstrate to non-Spanish investors that the new managers were not, as the right-wing press charged, “gangsters.” Even as the British consulate protested the refusal of the electric companies to pay their foreign “coupon clippers,” Spanish authorities rescheduled the debt to Swiss investors.[21] Although in September 1937 the Generalitat declared a moratorium on interest payments, it delayed the formal legalization of the electrical industry in order not to alienate the English. British, Soviet, and, surprisingly enough, German coal found its way to Barcelona. Evidently, German commercial and mercantile policy conflicted with its diplomatic support of Franco’s forces, and deutsche marks seem to have been easier to acquire than other currencies. The difficulties of obtaining foreign coal and other goods stimulated the inventiveness of Catalan scientists and technicians who experimented—often successfully—with new materials and energy sources.[22]

The five major gas and electricity companies disagreed over the extent of the sacrifices and the contributions that each firm would have to make to unify the industry. The prewar financial situation complicated matters since companies with a healthy balance sheet did not wish to pay off the debts of unprofitable enterprises.[23] The numerous smaller enterprises feared that the large firms would take advantage of their comparative weakness and force them to work without proper compensation. Many former executives or foremen with needed technical and administrative skills were frightened that unification would mean a loss of their pay, power, and prestige. Workers feared that concentration by transfer to another branch might destroy their job security. They were reluctant, for example, to be moved to the gas section; not without reason, they considered it a dying enterprise.[24] The Catalan companies had used coal to produce gas, but supplies—and thus gas production—became extremely precarious during the conflict. To encourage wage earners to adjust to a new workplace and to accept new transportation costs, managers proposed to award a bonus to transferred workers. By contrast, the Central Committee of gas and electricity had to discourage other employees who demanded new posts for reasons of personal advantage.[25] In addition, the Decree on Collectivization of October 1936 granted firms with over one hundred workers the right to collectivize as they desired, and some of these firms preferred not to join the concentration in order to retain control of their resources and administration. Control Committee members complained that the decree suited neither the needs of their industry nor the necessities of the war, which required centralized command to shut off power and lights during an aerial attack.[26] In response, the Generalitat attempted to amend legislation to fit the needs of the power industry.

The infinity of committees that sprang up at the beginning of the Revolution blocked centralization of the industry. The Control Committee threatened to replace them if they did not follow its orders.[27] “Only concentrations…can permit undertakings of such importance as the electrification of the railroads and electrochemical industries. To break up our industry would shackle progress and would mean the destruction of an extremely important part of the national economy.”[28]

Yet resistance to unification remained significant throughout the Revolution. On 11 January 1937 the Cooperativa popular de Villanueva y Geltrú accused the Barcelonan Central Committee of acting more rapaciously than capitalist enterprises. Representatives of the cooperative, backed by local CNT and UGT delegations, asserted that the newly unified power industry, SEUC (Serveis elèctrics unificats de Catalunya), was merely a cover for four earlier enterprises that were trying to absorb the weaker firms. A CNT delegate from Barcelona replied that the SEUC had been created in the interests of the war effort and of the Catalan economy. The representatives of the cooperative and the local CNT protested that the SEUC had divided profits as had the bourgeoisie and, unlike railroads, had acted irresponsibly by granting its employees a year-end bonus. Another local CNT delegate threatened that the 2,300 members of the Villanueva cooperative would not pay their bills unless their rights were recognized. Local residents believed that their interests deserved a consideration equal to that given to foreigners. A member of the town council noted that his citizens were disappointed with the cost and the services of the new concentration. Barcelona’s Central Committee members replied that their enterprise was protecting the general interest but agreed to study the proposals of the cooperative.

The local committees ignored recommendations of SEUC’s Control Committee concerning promotions and ranking of personnel. They also refused to relay information about their excess personnel, which was vital in a situation of war and revolution.[29] In September 1937 both the Barcelonan committee and the UGT criticized the persistent egoism of individual firms that prevented complete consolidation of the industry.[30] Even in 1938, when the Generalitat controlled the industry, it declared that unification progressed slowly “owing to the reluctance of the former companies to transmit data that have been requested several times.”[31] Nor was this problem limited to the power industry. The control committees of other enterprises, such as the MZA (Madrid–Zaragoza–Alicante railroad), found it difficult to centralize command in the face of disobedient subcommittees. As in gas and electricity, workers of some companies resisted concentration because they feared that they might lose pay, benefits, or job security in the new organization.[32]

In the dramatic times of war and Revolution in Barcelona, the metallurgical and metalworking industries were arguably the most essential productive forces. The backwardness of this sector and its lack of competitive automobile and aviation branches has already been described. Of the metallurgical and metalworking factories surveyed, thirty-six employed between one and ten workers, fifty-two had from eleven to fifty workers, and twelve had between fifty-one and one hundred workers. Four factories employed from one hundred to five hundred workers, and only two employed over five hundred workers. Out of one hundred six factories, eighty-six had a CNT majority and twenty had a UGT majority, although the UGT tended to be slightly stronger in larger factories. The physical size of these firms was often minuscule; some measured 150 square meters, some only 50, or even 17 square meters. The scale of these enterprises limited production.[33] For example, when the Fundición Dalia was asked if it could increase the number of its workers in order to augment production, it responded that it had already doubled production for the war effort. With thirty-seven workers, it was working at peak capacity and could not absorb any more personnel. Another firm, Talleres Guerin, whose eighty workers made electrical equipment, reported that its production was limited by its lack of machinery.

In April 1937 the CNT and the UGT agreed “on the need to socialize the metallurgical industry on the basis of industrial concentration.”[34] The Confederación’s Metallurgical Union in Barcelona declared that, despite the opposition of the petty bourgeoisie, it had unified the industry’s small workshops and had thereby increased output. Seven major concentrations were planned, including iron and steel production, aviation, and automobiles. The last amalgamation would integrate all activities of automotive production, from casting and the production of parts to delivery on the market.

The Marathon Collective, formerly the General Motors plant in Barcelona, provides a good example of coordination if not concentration of an industry in mechanical construction. After the fighting of 19 July, part of the management left, and instructions came from the United States to shut down the factory. Instead, militants of the UGT and the CNT (the latter dominated in the collective) took control of the firm; technicians began to coordinate, finance, and advise many of the small metalworking firms that began to manufacture previously imported auto parts. The Marathon Collective embarked on an ambitious program to assemble parts made in Catalonia and to mass-produce a truly national truck. In July 1937 the collective celebrated the first anniversary of the 19 July victory by displaying the first mass-produced truck and motor that had been built in Catalonia.[35] Ninety different factory councils and control committees that had cooperated in the construction of the Spanish truck participated in the festivities. A Marathon director praised the labor of twelve thousand workers in the Catalan automobile industry, and he stated that the production of a mass-produced vehicle was part of “our war of independence.” He concluded that the bourgeoisie had neither the knowledge nor the will to mass-produce automobiles.

The CNT was quite proud of its role in the concentration of the auto industry: “The achievement of our Revolution is its power to control all enterprises.…Another very important point is…to be able to reduce the cost of cars that before 19 July we had to buy from foreign nations.”[36] Faced with the interruption of foreign parts and equipment, CNT militants had rationally reorganized production by coordinating and concentrating small workshops. Anarchosyndicalist productivism merged with Spanish economic nationalism to produce the beginnings of an independent automotive industry.

Standardization of parts and equipment often accompanied concentration. CNT metallurgical militants wrote in their review that standardization had three advantages: interchangeable parts, speed of repairs, and economy. They concluded, “The degree of standardization is the gauge that determines industrial progress. Proof of this is that nations which have the best industry are those that have the greatest quantity of standardized parts.”[37]

The Industria Metalgráfica, a collective of 220 workers, 91 of whom were men, offered an excellent example of rationalization that was accompanied by standardization in what was, for Barcelona, a relatively large factory.[38] Of the collective’s workers, 206 belonged to the CNT and 14 to the UGT. The 8 technicians of the firm were in the CNT, whereas the 14 administrative personnel were in the UGT. With machinery that was over two decades old, it had produced metal boxes, metal cases, and lithographic equipment. After revolution broke out, the factory converted its output to war production. On 5 November 1936 the collective’s ruling council acknowledged that it intended “to reduce labor as much as possible” by eliminating certain processes. The council argued that it was “absolutely necessary to revamp the manufacturing process, and we consider that standard’ manufacturing is the most advisable.” Standardization would reduce the time needed for manufacture and open vistas of “almost unlimited” production of items such as beer cans. In September 1938 the UGT Metallurgical Union of Catalonia called for standardization of production and the use of the “most modern practices.”[39]

The militants of the construction industry also embraced standardization. CNT activists in its Building Union argued against “archaic norms” and “rudimentary methods” in favor of new techniques such as reinforced concrete, “whose good results are unquestionable.”[40] The CNT approved “modern construction” with its solidity, cleanliness, airiness, and roominess. This desire for light, space, and hygiene was quite understandable in Barcelona, where working-class housing often lacked these qualities. The anarchosyndicalist militants admired methods of building in the Soviet Union, “where construction acquires the characteristics of a marvelous beauty.”[41] Their urbanism was highly influenced by Le Corbusier’s ideas, and CNT journals included pictures of “cities of the future”—large modern metropolises of huge high rises linked by expressways.[42]

The Confederación modernized the machinery in the factories that it controlled. Modernization required a considerable effort during the war and Revolution since much of the needed machinery had to be imported. In addition, the CNT’s adversaries in the central government and the Generalitat sometimes controlled the necessary foreign currencies. Many CNT unions nevertheless pursued modernization of equipment. The electrical industry illustrates the obstacles that attempts to modernize equipment sometimes encountered.[43] As in the case of raw materials, Spanish substitutes for foreign products were hard to find. In January 1937 the industry’s Central Committee discussed a request to change the billing system for its customers from monthly to bimonthly and to bill gas and electricity charges simultaneously as part of its program for the unification and concentration of its industries. However, the billing machines were in poor condition and continually required replacement parts from Paris; new personnel had to be trained to use the machines properly. Managers concluded, under the circumstances, that billing reforms would have to be delayed.

Wartime conditions obstructed industrial development. A shortage of vulcanized wire limited the use of hydroelectric power. The industry could not quickly repair the damage caused by bombardments of power stations because much of the needed material had to be acquired abroad and purchased with foreign currencies. American-made material became so valuable that it was once proposed as collateral for an Aragon firm’s loan.[44] Even when machines could be purchased or were available, a shortage of qualified personnel—perhaps conscripted or departed—may have prevented their operation.[45]

Industries’ unwillingness or inability to pay bills on time disturbed plans for their rationalization. Several weeks after the Revolution erupted, the Control Committee of gas and electricity considered employing the Antifascist Militias to collect debts from “elements who are taking advantage of the present circumstances to avoid paying their bills.”[46] Two months later, the committee complained to a representative of the CNT Construction Union that neither ordinary consumers nor a great number of institutions—which included the Generalitat, municipality, prisons, railroads, streetcar companies, journalists’ union, police headquarters, and even the barracks of the Antifascist Militias—had met their payments.[47] Furthermore, the departure of the upper and middle classes meant a 37 percent decline in revenue. Many of the remaining consumers were dishonest, “always trying to find a way to swipe free kilowatts.…Unfortunately, working-class comrades are among the defaulters (morosos). If we catch an upper-class defaulter, we give him what he deserves, but we cannot do anything to the workers since many plead that they don’t have a job.”

Committee members sharply attacked the railroads not only for their debt to the electric industry but also for their reduction in fares for passengers. Although the reduced price bolstered the railroad’s image among the public, electricity managers accused the railroads of charging considerably more for bulk transportation to compensate for the loss of passenger revenue. According to the power company, the transport of coal had become more expensive than its purchase; these added expenses and defaults delayed the industry’s plan to construct a modern headquarters in the plaza Cataluña. One member concluded sardonically, “The Revolution means not paying.” Another worker (the representative of the Construction Union who had not succeeded in getting funds from the Control Committee for workers about to be laid off) added, “It’s true there are many abuses. Many comrades have policing and defense tasks. They get free meals and clothes, bonuses and compensation. Then they go out on a spree, leaving their families to pay the gas and lighting.” Militants wondered why, despite the purchase of all available electric stoves, no increase in use of electricity had been recorded, implying that customers were tinkering with their meters. At the end of the year the Control Committee studied a proposal for a special section to fight fraud.[48] Members suggested that gas and electric meters no longer be read separately; joint readings would save labor and would also threaten potential defaulters with the interruption of both sources of power. The committee wanted to take strong measures to force consumers who had moved to pay bills that had accumulated at their former addresses; one militant asked the Housing Commission to refuse to rent to anyone who did not possess a receipt from a recently paid electric bill.[49]

In the spring of 1937, the shortage of coins in Barcelona made it difficult for clients to use pre-pay, coin-operated meters. Consumers were apparently hoarding silver coins. To solve the problem, a member suggested that the industry mint its own company tokens for use in its meters; another participant objected that the tokens would be immediately counterfeited.[50] When the merchants of one town, La Rapita de los Alfaques, petitioned for a lower electricity rate, the committee agreed to study the problem, but one activist was certain that during the investigation “those merchants won’t pay.”[51] In May the famous collectives of Aragon owed the Catalan electrical industry over 300,000 pesetas.

The Control Committee of the centralized power companies, which criticized other institutions for slow payment, was itself reluctant to pay the Generalitat’s newly imposed taxes.[52] Other collectives and controlled enterprises were also disinclined to meet their obligations. The MZA refused to contribute to the Ministry of Public Works since railroad traffic—and thus income—had declined dramatically.[53] The War Industries Commission was a notorious debtor, and its delays caused economic problems for creditors such as the Plastic Industries Company.[54] Movie theaters seemed also to have been in debt.[55] During 1937 many enterprises began demanding payment in cash. For example, the CAMPSA, the state energy company, would not deliver fuel to the railroad unless it received hard currency.[56]

Regardless of problems of cash flow, many committees significantly improved working conditions. CNT factory councils recognized the effects of hygiene on production and wanted to imitate modern American firms that had industrial physicians. The textile factory, España industrial, established a day-care center for working mothers and a new dining room.[57] In Badalona textile firms, CNT activists improved retirement and medical benefits. The UGT established a clinic and expanded health-care and retirement benefits.[58] Breaking with prerevolutionary practices in certain industries of employing children from twelve to fifteen years old, the CNT Graphic Arts Union prohibited the employment of those under fourteen. CNT loaders debated the difficult questions of the physical capacity and output of aged laborers. The power industry dealt with the delicate problem of how to divide fairly the burden of the retirement fund.[59]

Yet in many cases the disruption of the economy and the diminution of resources blocked the improvement of working conditions.[60] For example, managers refused a request from a workshop for new windows. In another case, the high price of paint prevented the repainting of the offices of a train station. When the personnel of the Gerona-Llansa line became demoralized by poor working conditions, they were told to sacrifice for the war. The electrical industry was reluctant to give permanent payroll status to temporary personnel, such as construction workers or miners, even though it demanded “maximum output” from the latter in the admittedly hazardous mines.

Laudatory accounts of the Catalan war industries have ignored the dangerous conditions in the newly built armaments industry.[61] Fumes from dynamite and tolite, used in explosives’ production, made the personnel sick. “To avoid possible poisoning” they asked for milk and coffee and suggested that two nurses be employed so that each shift had access to medical care in case of an accident. The personnel also demanded a bomb shelter where they could be safe from enemy bombardments and friendly (but often inaccurate) antiaircraft fire. Their CNT-backed delegate declared that after the national government had taken over the factory, the families of accident victims had not received compensation. He cited four workers who had perished because of an explosion on 4 September 1936, six who had died in another explosion on 22 September 1936, and one in an explosion in March 1938; two others had been seriously injured in accidents in October 1936 and November 1937. Only one of the victims had been insured.

In their efforts to improve working conditions and to develop the productive forces, both the CNT and the UGT built schools and centers to train technicians. These schools survived and even prospered despite political and ideological tensions within and between the unions. In metallurgy, both unions made a special effort to train technicians from their own ranks. The UGT established schools for “professional preparation,” “without which there is no prosperity.”[62] The CNT Metallurgical Union established a school called Labor, which was free from the “false education” of the Church. In the Marathon Collective (CNT-UGT), professors taught “love of work” and studied the “magnificent” automobiles of General Motors.[63] The largely CNT-dominated Foundry Collective and the UGT Metallurgical Union of Badalona instituted scholarships for children. Hundreds of children from working-class families received financial aid from the government or the unions for various types of schooling. In construction, the CNT encouraged young workers, who often ignored the promulgated “union values,” to study in the libraries which the union had built and to attend the classes which it offered.

Even before the Revolution, the CNT had led efforts to raise the cultural level of the working class. Continuing this tradition, the CNT and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the UGT established libraries in many collectives to encourage reading and educate the many illiterate workers. Illiteracy remained significant among wage earners. The CNT Maritime Union stated that out of twenty sailors, fifteen could not sign their names. Members of the control committees of the remaining privately-owned enterprises were required to be able to read and write.[64] The twenty-thousand-strong women’s organization, Mujeres libres, which had close links to the anarchosyndicalist movement, began a large campaign during the Revolution to instruct women, who had higher rates of illiteracy than men.[65] The UGT also wanted to hold classes for illiterates. Even though anarchosyndicalist and Marxist militants were often genuinely committed to improving workers’ cultural life, the unions’ attitude toward education resembled, in part, the literacy campaigns and educational practices of various Marxist regimes with their utilitarian emphasis on learning in order to increase production.

Historians favorable to anarchosyndicalism have often regarded the CNT’s educational efforts as part of its unique global culture, which transcended trade unionism and conventional politics to influence aspects of everyday life.[66] The CNT and the UGT along with Catalan political parties organized the CENU (Consejo de la escuela nueva unificada), designed to replace parochial schools. The CENU desired both the rationalization of work and the social promotion of workers; its goal was to enable capable workers to attend the university. With other organizations, the CENU undertook the schooling of over 72,000 children who had been without any formal education before the Revolution. In one district, elementary-school enrollment jumped from 950 students to 9,501 during the conflict. In the entire city, 125,000 new students were registered.

The desire to create a rational educational system and to train students and technicians was thus not unique to the CNT and formed an essential part of both unions’ revolutionary project of developing the means of production. For the CNT and organizations close to it, the elimination of illiteracy and the development of the productive forces were intimately linked. Well-rounded and educated workers were to be integrated into a society of production and order. One libertarian militant described their goal:

The producers in a libertarian communist society will not be divided into manual laborers and intellectuals. Access to arts and sciences will be open, because the time devoted to them will belong to the individual and not to the community. The individual will be emancipated from the community, if he desires, when the workday and his mission as producer are finished.[67]

The more work is esteemed, the more idleness will be repulsive. In other words, the more the child loves good…the less evil will affect him.[68]

In fact, the content of the CNT’s technical education was hardly different from that of the more advanced capitalist nations or even that of the Soviet Union. An article published during the Revolution claimed that the United States showed the way in vocational education and that the Soviet Union perfected it.[69] The Confederación criticized the Spanish bourgeoisie precisely for its inability to provide the training more accessible to workers in other nations.

The desire to create a rational educational system and to train students and technicians was thus not unique to the CNT and formed an essential part of both unions’ revolutionary project of developing the means of production. For the CNT and organizations close to it, the elimination of illiteracy and the development of the productive forces were intimately linked. Well-rounded and educated workers were to be integrated into a society of production and order. One libertarian militant described their goal:

The producers in a libertarian communist society will not be divided into manual laborers and intellectuals. Access to arts and sciences will be open, because the time devoted to them will belong to the individual and not to the community. The individual will be emancipated from the community, if he desires, when the workday and his mission as producer are finished.[67]

The more work is esteemed, the more idleness will be repulsive. In other words, the more the child loves good…the less evil will affect him.[68]

In fact, the content of the CNT’s technical education was hardly different from that of the more advanced capitalist nations or even that of the Soviet Union. An article published during the Revolution claimed that the United States showed the way in vocational education and that the Soviet Union perfected it.[69] The Confederación criticized the Spanish bourgeoisie precisely for its inability to provide the training more accessible to workers in other nations.

The urgent need to train technicians in order to secure the Revolution strengthened the Confederación’s technocratic tendencies, which were potent, if not dominant, even before the war. The conflict—with its conscription, disruption of supplies, and creation of defense industries—undoubtedly dramatized the importance of technicians who had to find substitutes for missing materials, build new industries almost from scratch, and replace their colleagues who had fled abroad or had gone into the army. One must keep in mind, though, that the war merely reinforced the technocratic tendencies of anarchosyndicalism: libertarian communists envisaged a postwar society where technicians would continue to direct the development of the means of production. The CNT’s glorification of science and technology attracted some technicians and managers to its ranks while the union frightened away others by its leveling tendency, by the dominance of blue-collar workers in its membership, and by its relative indifference to Catalan nationalism. In turn, the Confederación distrusted the experts and kept detailed records of their personal, professional, and political histories.[70] Many technicians, managers, and particularly white-collar workers joined the UGT, closely aligned with the PSUC, which supported many demands of the Catalan nationalists and often accepted large wage differentials without question.

Yet throughout the Revolution the CNT sought, and partially won, the support of the technicians. The journal of the CNT National Federation of Water, Gas, and Electricity, Luz y fuerza, believed that it had learned from the past:

The experience of the Russian Revolution taught us, the Spanish workers, how to treat the technicians because without them a total revolution cannot be made. Once everything rotten and archaic that exists in Spain is destroyed, the efforts of all will be needed for reconstruction. If we did not have this clear vision, we would find…at the end of the war that nothing would have been accomplished, and, what is worse, that we would have to submit to foreign technicians.[71]

The CNT Maritime Union asked, “Can an engineer be mistaken for an unskilled worker? The engineer symbolizes creative thought, and the unskilled worker [symbolizes] thought’s object.…The social revolution…has its engineers…and its unskilled.”[72] The union admitted that “we need technicians.” Revolution or not, the captain was still responsible for the organization of work and would remain the “primary and legitimate authority.” By January 1938 the CNT approved a proposal to grant technicians “coercive powers.”[73] Its militants also criticized police actions that harassed needed technicians whose revolutionary credentials were not impeccable.[74]

Within the amalgamated construction industry and other collectives, the technicians were often in command. In the amalgamation, the CNT and the UGT agreed that “technicians of different sections must fix a scale of minimum output within twenty days and this must be ratified necessarily by the assembly of each section, attempting as much as possible to utilize the minimum output established before 19 July 1936.”[75] The Chemical Council agreed after long debate that former bosses with indispensable knowledge should be permitted to work as technicians.[76] Experts in the newly developed defense industries were clearly essential because they had to improvise and create products that had never been produced in Catalonia. Presses, lathes, pistols, rifles, machine guns, grenades, and various chemicals for explosives were all manufactured, often for the first time in Spanish factories, under CNT auspices.[77]

The unions, though, could not always convince their members to obey and respect the technicians. Early in the Revolution the CNT-UGT managers of the power industry felt that they had to impose “authority and discipline” on local committees that wanted to dismiss technicians and managers with doubtful revolutionary credentials.[78] In October 1936, a certain Menassanch stated that the central Control Committee had encountered difficulties in some power stations after foreign technicians had departed and three out of four local committees had rejected the central Control Committee’s recommendations on replacements for the foreign technicians “in spite of our instructions and warnings”:

We could not convince them.…We must not forget that both unions have a certain number of adherents who have recently joined [them]. This growing number weighs in the balance, and it is possible that they are more Catholic than the pope and maybe even more extremist than union veterans. We can easily be dragged down by these new elements.…In a word, it is necessary to require that the local committees strictly comply with our agreements with the juntas of the unions.[79]

On 27 November 1936 a large meeting of the central Control Committee, local committees, and both unions reached a compromise in which the central and local committees agreed to share power over the appointment of technicians.

Other sectors also refused to acquiesce in the leadership’s technocratic desires. The CNT Maritime Union often demanded that sailors obey their officers and criticized the “crew’s hatred of the technicians.”[80] The union warned sailors not to disturb ships’ officers in the exercise of their technical functions. Salary differences certainly aggravated these tensions, and the rank and file’s indiscipline provoked a kind of creeping democratic centralism of the Leninist variety:

Anarchosyndicalism and organized anarchism are governed by majority rule.…Members are required to accept the decisions of the majority even if they oppose them.[81]

The liaison between the union and the crew should not be understood only from the base to the top but also from the top down.[82]

Since the majority of the sailors “did not have the ability to occupy the positions which the organization [union] can entrust them today,” the union needed “organization men” (hombres de organización) to accomplish its tasks.[83]

Thus during the Spanish Revolution traditional anarchist and anarchosyndicalist desires for a nonhierarchical leveling of salaries conflicted with the urgent need to develop the means of production with the aid of scientists and technicians. The CNT’s plans for modernization and its campaign to win and retain the support of the technicians opposed the leveling tendencies of its largely blue-collar base. In January 1937 in the CNT National Committee of the Textile Industry, a Barcelona delegate attacked the higher salaries that technicians were receiving and claimed that many of them had joined the Confederación only because of opportunism.[84] In a response that certain members of the audience booed, Juan Peiró, the CNT Minister of Industry in the central government, criticized the Barcelona delegate for desiring to level salaries. According to Peiró, this attempt went against the syndicalist and libertarian principle, “to each according to his work”: “The technician has many more needs [than the ordinary worker]. It is necessary that he be duly compensated.” Peiró’s viewpoint dominated the CNT’s practice during the Spanish Revolution in Barcelona.

An examination of salary differences in the Barcelona textile industry confirms the preferential treatment that the CNT and, of course, the UGT accorded to the skilled. Available statistics confirm that although there was some leveling of salaries, the militants in charge of the factories retained considerable wage differentials, ranging from 2:1 to 7:1. The Central Committee of the large textile factory, España industrial, was controlled by the CNT. The factory employed 1,800 workers; its skilled workers and technicians received between 92 and 200 pesetas per week in December 1936.[85] With 302 workers, the Industria Olesana reported in December 1936 reductions of 10 percent in the salaries of its directors; 21 other technicians received salary increases.[86] While salaries for directors may have decreased, with or without UGT participation, the Confederación maintained higher wages for technicians and skilled workers in the dyeing and finishing branch of the Barcelonan textile industry. Even in cases of salary leveling, pay differentials increased as workers took on more responsibility or as their technical skill increased. Salary differences in other branches were similar to those found in textiles. Claims that the CNT-inspired contraction of salaries led to a great decrease in production must be qualified.[87]

The Revolution destroyed neither the lower wages of women nor the traditional gendered divisions of labor. When the Federación local of the UGT needed secretaries or cleaners, it invariably searched for women.[88] In the Comedor popular Durruti all the waiters, cooks, and dishwashers were males. Workers in the first two jobs earned 92 pesetas and the third 69, whereas the seven cleaning women earned 57.5.[89] In the large factory of España industrial, where over half the personnel were female, women earned 45 to 55 pesetas per week; men received 52 to 68.[90] In a large metallurgical collective, women in the same professional category as men earned lower pay.[91] For telephone workers the proposed minimum weekly wage for men was 90, for women 70.[92] As lower wage earners, women gained from the general leveling of salaries, but many collectives continued the prerevolutionary practice of paying them less.

When UGT telephone workers assembled to discuss military training, female and male participants agreed that women would receive instruction as nurses, not soldiers.[93] In certain cases women were the first to be fired. When box makers encountered economic problems, CNT militants approved the motion not to pay female workers “who had other means of support.”[94] Committees also attempted to prevent pregnant women from using maternity insurance to receive more than their usual salaries.

Yet when compared to prewar employers, revolutionaries reduced wage inequalities and offered more job opportunities. In November 1937, with the assistance of the government, Catalan organizations set up an Instituto para la adaptación profesional de la mujer, in which women trained not only as secretaries and cooks but also as engineers, electricians, and chemists. The CNT-supported Mujeres libres—whose active role in the literacy campaign among women we noted earlier—wanted to create a technical training school for women to enable them to replace mobilized males.[95] Militants of this organization offered to “scour factories and workshops exhorting workers to produce the maximum” and encouraging them to volunteer for the front and for fortification work.

Anarchosyndicalist activists and Mujeres libres members—who admired the supposed Soviet success in eliminating prostitution—argued for the reform of prostitutes, of course through the therapy of work.[96] Federica Montseny, the CNT Minister of Health and Public Assistance, asserted that the Revolution offered prostitutes the chance “to change their lives and become part of the society of workers.” This choice was indeed ironic since there is some evidence that before the conflict certain women had opted to become prostitutes precisely to avoid factory jobs and poor working conditions.[97] Although abortion was legalized and birth-control information made available, some militants recommended that workers refrain from sexual relations and childbirth during the Revolution.

The UGT took a special interest in adapting women’s roles to meet the demands of the war and wished to cooperate with the CNT in training female apprentices. According to the secretary general of the Barcelona UGT federation, “Catalan women had always demonstrated a love of work and great ability in the workplace.”[98] He demanded that certain collectives end their practice of paying women less than men for equal work. He also urged the unions to promote women to leadership in their organizations. In some workshops women began agitating for equal salaries.[99] In others, mothers received a twelve-week paid maternity leave and thirty minutes daily for nursing.[100]

In August 1938 a UGT official (a woman) asked member unions about the possibilities of hiring more women.[101] The responses of union leaders revealed both the state of Catalan industries and male attitudes toward female workers. The secretary general of the Woodworkers’ Union replied that the lack of raw materials and electric power prevented the integration of women into his branch. He asserted that women did not possess the skills to substitute for woodworkers in this still unstandardized sector. In addition, the UGT leader believed that “with honorable exceptions” women were qualified only for “simple” tasks, such as varnishing, not for heavy or dangerous work.

In other sectors, the necessities of war introduced changes in the traditional division of labor. In rural post offices, women occupied the places of mobilized or deceased male relatives, and in the cities they began to labor as mail carriers. Despite their memory of female strikebreakers in the early 1930s, UGT Postal Union officials recommended that women also serve in offices. The secretary general of the UGT Paper Union believed that with proper training women would be able to perform most jobs in paper production but not in carton manufacture, which demanded more brute strength. The UGT Health Workers’ Union claimed that the CNT job monopoly prevented it from hiring more women, who were “biologically” better suited for health-care positions.

Male and female wage earners learned to labor in new ways. The wartime priority on concentrating and standardizing productive forces reinforced the technocratic tendencies of anarchosyndicalist and Marxist theory and led to the most modern techniques to rationalize the means of production. For the CNT, the development of the factory system was a prerequisite for libertarian communism, and both unions adopted many of the methods that characterized capitalist production. In October 1938 Síntesis, the review of the CNT-UGT Collective Cros, the major Spanish chemical firm, frankly stated that “many of the methods employed by the capitalist system to obtain a greater output cannot yet be replaced and should be used by proletarian society.”

Both the CNT and the UGT promoted Taylorism, a system of scientific organization of work proposed by the American engineer, Frederick W. Taylor. Although it may seem odd, Taylorism, which was developed by a Philadelphia engineer of bourgeois origins in the most advanced capitalist nation, shared one basic feature with anarchosyndicalism and communism: the elimination of the class struggle. Taylor did not seek union, communist, or socialist control and development of the means of production; he believed that the bourgeoisie, when scientifically instructed, would be able to terminate the class struggle through prosperity, that is, through unlimited production and its counterpart, unlimited consumption. Taylor viewed workers not only as producers but also as consumers (or savers) and sought to increase their ability to be both. The American engineer therefore advocated the most efficient ways to increase production.

His system involved breaking down a task into its component parts, thus deepening the division of labor and terminating artisan-like production. Standardization was an essential element of “scientific management,” and he demanded “the standardization of all tools and implements used in the trades, and also of the acts or movements of workmen for each class of work.”[102] Management would accomplish this standardization and direct the rank-and-file workers. The underlying principle of Taylorism was management’s appropriation of the direction of the work process itself and the reduction of workers to mere executors of management’s wishes. Thus, Taylorism enlarged the division between those who planned or thought and those who executed orders. Taylor himself had a real disdain for workers’ intelligence, and he feared their laziness. He felt, not without reason, that workers would resist scientific management through work slowdowns and even sabotage. Therefore, he made certain that scientific organization of work could coerce laborers, if need be.

Human nature is such, however, that many of the workmen, if left to themselves, would pay but little attention to their written instructions. It is necessary, therefore, to provide teachers (called functional foremen) to see that the workmen both understand and carry out these written instructions.

[In the construction industry he demanded] the careful selection and subsequent training of the bricklayers into first-class men, and the elimination of all men who refuse to or are unable to adopt the best methods.

It is only through enforced standardization of methods, enforced adoption of the best implements and working conditions, and enforced cooperation that this faster work can be assured.

Scientific management shared with anarchosyndicalism an emphasis on efficient production through control of the work process by technicians. Santillán had endorsed Fordism, which other CNT militants also praised as a “model” of “wise lessons.”[103] On 19 November 1938 a letter from a CNT technician called Taylor “the greatest organizer known.”[104] The technician thanked the workers and the director of the Labora factory for their cooperation. He regretted that he had to leave the arms-producing firm, but he was confident that if Labora continued on its present path, it would become one of the most important metallurgical firms in Spain. Another letter of 23 November 1938 to the administrative junta of the CNT Metallurgical Union confirmed that “during my stay at Labora I explained to the management of the factory the road to follow for the best output.”[105] An article entitled “Professional Selection” in the CNT metallurgical journal praised the research done at Bethlehem Steel, Taylor’s factory, where the optimum-sized shovel for coal stokers was developed and employed;[106] this shovel permitted the most efficient use of the workers’ strength. The article also lauded a disciple of the Philadelphia engineer, H. Gantt, who had eliminated workers’ unnecessary movements and therefore increased productivity. In addition, it argued for a careful selection of apprentices since the metallurgical industry had some jobs that required only brute strength and others that needed intelligence. The review of the CNT-UGT Collective Marathon also praised Taylorism, and it concluded that the American engineer had achieved “scientific organization of work” that chose the best workers for each job in the factory.[107] In July 1937 the Catalan Institute of Economic Sciences called for “speed bosses” and a system of incentives in collectives.[108]

It is essential to underline that Taylorism and the other techniques employed by the unions were not merely a consequence of a wartime situation that demanded rapid production but were also the unions’ response to the prewar social and economic incapacities of the Spanish and Catalan capitalist elites. In this regard, the Left continued to pursue an industrial modernization that the bourgeoisie had barely begun. The union militants envisaged a future of rationalized and developed productive forces within an independent national economy. The base of the anarchosyndicalist project was the rationalized, standardized, and even Taylorized factory, which, in its details, greatly resembled the plants of the advanced industrial nations. The Collective Marathon (formerly General Motors of Barcelona) constructed an automobile factory whose long aisles were suitable for assembly lines and whose space approximated the Renault factories in the industrial suburbs of Paris.

Plans for a functionalist city of the future paralleled the addition of the techniques of advanced capitalism in the workplace. Anarchosyndicalist militants wanted to construct cities of apartment houses and mass automobile circulation. In fact, the Marathon Collective declared that the economic potential of a nation could be measured by the number of motor vehicles per inhabitant, and it hoped that the automobile would soon become an accepted part of everyday life in Spain.[109] Nevertheless, the unions’ and parties’ visions of a rationalized and modernized future did not end the secular struggle against workspace and worktime, the subject of the next chapter.


1. Report of the textile unions, 17 May 1937, 1352, AS; Boletín del Sindicato de la industria fabril y textil de Badalona y su radio, February, 1937; Acta de la tercera sesión del pleno nacional de regionales de la industria fabril, textil, vestir, 626, AS; A. Pérez, “La concentración industrial,” CNT Marítima, 15 September 1938; sastrería, 7 October 1937, 1219, AS. [BACK]

2. Antoni Castells i Durán, “La colectivización-socialización de la industria y los servicios en Barcelona ciudad y provincia” (Manuscript, Barcelona, Centre d’Estudis històrics internacionals, 1986), pp. 319–36. See figures in Josep Maria Bricall, Política econòmica de la Generalitat (1936–1939) (Barcelona, 1978–1979), 1:224; Francesc Roca, “El decret de municipalització de la propietat urbana de l’2 de juny del 1937 i la nova economia urbana,” Recerques: Política i economia a la Catalunya del segle XX, no. 2 (1972): 225. [BACK]

3. Solidaridad Obrera, 4 and 5 September 1937; Burnett Bolloten, The Spanish Revolution, the Left, and the Struggle for Power during the Civil War (Chapel Hill, 1979), p. 63. [BACK]

4. UGT-CNT comisión organizadora de la conferencia nacional de la industria de piel y de calzado, 163, AS. [BACK]

5. Boletín de información, 10 April 1937; cf. Bolloten, Revolution, pp. 63–64, which claims that seventy-one factories were reduced to twenty. [BACK]

6. Acta, 6 July 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. Yet the Chemical Council ignored the French consul’s objection to establishing industrial federations; see Acta, 31 December 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

7. Acta, 24 August 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

8. Actas, 4 June and 5 October 1937, Generalitat 252, AS; on Pirelli, see Jordi Maluquer de Motes, “De la crisis colonial a la guerra europea: Veinte años de economía española,” in La economía española en el siglo XX, ed. Jordi Nadal et al. (Barcelona, 1987), p. 89. [BACK]

9. Acta, 2 June 1938, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

10. Junta, 15 and 23 February 1937, 1204; Actas, 27 August and 15 October 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. On the “blind egoism” of firms that refused to aid less successful enterprises, see Walther L. Bernecker, Colectividades y revolución social: El anarquismo en la guerra española, 1936–1939, trans. Gustau Muñoz (Barcelona, 1982), pp. 378, 439. [BACK]

11. Federació local de Barcelona, comité, 9 and 12 January 1937, 1311, AS. [BACK]

12. 12 November 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

13. Actas, 24 August and 31 December 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

14. Acta, MZA, 8 April 1937, 531, AS. [BACK]

15. Reunión, 17 April 1938, 1049, AS. [BACK]

16. Minutes of the CNT sección metales no-ferrosos, 1 September 1937, 847, AS; minutes of the CNT sección caldereros en hierro y sopletistas, 6 December 1936, 1385, AS. See also Comité, 9 April 1937, 181, AS; Reunión, 5 November 1936, 1122, AS; PSUC, radio 8, 12 December 1936, 1122, AS. [BACK]

17. Acta de reunión del pleno del comité central de control obrero del ramo gas y electricidad, 27 November 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

18. 14 and 26 April 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

19. 1, 2, 12 September and 5 December 1936, 182, AS; Castells (“Colectivización,” pp. 575–76) claims that the multinational SOFINA coerced technicians into leaving by threatening to blacklist them. [BACK]

20. 5 and 9 October 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

21. 12 October 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

22. 15 December 1936, 182, AS; January 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

23. 30 October 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

24. 9 January 1937, 182, AS. [BACK]

25. 5 December 1936, 182, AS; 29 September 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

26. 12 November and 1 December 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

27. 29 September and 29 December 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

28. Luz y fuerza, October 1937. [BACK]

29. 14 April, 1 and 29 June 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

30. 27 September 1937, 181, AS; Federación catalana de gas y electricidad, UGT, July–September 1937, 482, AS. [BACK]

31. Consell general, 31 March 1938, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

32. Acta, 5 April 1937, 531, AS; Hispano-Radio (n.d.), 1175, AS. [BACK]

33. CNT questionnaires, 387, AS; see also Pere Gabriel, “¿La població obrera catalana, una població industrial?” Estudios de historia social 32–33 (January–June 1985): 206. [BACK]

34. Proyecto de socialización de la industria siderometalúrgica CNT-UGT, June 1937, 505, AS; Sindicato de la industria siderometalúrgica de Barcelona, ¿Colectivización? ¿Nacionalización? No socialización (Barcelona, 1937), p. 11. [BACK]

35. Horizontes, June–July 1937. [BACK]

36. Sidero-Metalurgia, November 1937. [BACK]

37. Ibid., September 1937. [BACK]

38. This paragraph is based on Hoja de control y estadística, CNT sindicato único de la metalurgia de Barcelona, 871, AS; Al Consejo local técnico administrativo de la industria siderometalúrgica (carpeta unknown), AS. See also Les collectivitzacions a Catalunya, Secció d’estudis econòmics, polítics i socials, Institucions Francesc Layret (Barcelona, 1938). [BACK]

39. Las Noticias, 3 September 1938. [BACK]

40. Hoy, January 1938. [BACK]

41. Boletín del Sindicato de la industria de la edificación, madera y decoración, 10 October 1937 and 15 August 1938. [BACK]

42. Hoy, December 1937. [BACK]

43. The following paragraph adheres to the minutes of the meeting of the Pleno del comité central de control obrero, 181, AS. [BACK]

44. 4 January, 11 March, and 19 April 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

45. 20 November 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

46. 19 September 1936, 182, AS. Early in the Revolution, peasants invaded not only property of large landowners but also that of worker-controlled enterprises; when peasants presented the Central Committee with a bill for “cultivation,” it refused to pay (31 August 1936, 182, AS). [BACK]

47. The following information comes from 26 November 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

48. 25 December 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

49. 20 March and 28 May 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

50. 9 April 1937, 182, AS. [BACK]

51. 12 May 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

52. 26 April 1937, 182, AS. [BACK]

53. Acta, 18 March 1937, 531, AS. [BACK]

54. Acta, 14 September 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

55. Junta, 5 February 1937, 1204, AS. [BACK]

56. Acta de reunión, comité central, 12 March 1937, 531, AS. [BACK]

57. Agustin Souchy and Paul Folgare, Colectivizaciones: La obra constructiva de la revolución española (Barcelona, 1977), p. 102. [BACK]

58. Castells, “Colectivización,” p. 467; Libro de actas de comité UGT, sociedad de albañiles, acta de reunión de la junta, 2 January 1937, 1051, AS. [BACK]

59. Acta de asamblea, cargadores, 31 January 1937, 1404, AS. [BACK]

60. 19 April 1937, 181, AS; Acta, MZA, 9 April 1937, 531, AS; Acta, comité central, 26 March 1937, 531, AS; 26 January 1937, 181, AS. [BACK]

61. Vicente Guarner, Cataluña en la guerra de España, 1936–1939 (Madrid, 1975), pp. 219–28. The following information is from Sugerencias, Fábrica LL, 1446, AS, and circular no. 53, 1084, AS. [BACK]

62. En Badalona el sindicat metal.lurgic UGT, 1453, AS. [BACK]

63. Sidero-Metalurgia, November 1937; Horizontes, May 1937. [BACK]

64. CNT Marítima, 7 August, 11 and 25 September 1937; Alberto Pérez Baró, 30 meses de colectivismo en Cataluña (1936–1939) (Barcelona, 1974), p. 85. [BACK]

65. Martha A. Ackelsberg, “Separate and Equal? Mujeres Libres and Anarchist Strategy for Women’s Emancipation,” Feminist Studies 11, no. 1 (Spring 1985). [BACK]

66. See Murray Bookchin, The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years, 1868–1936 (New York, 1978), pp. 4–5, 56–57; Frank Mintz, La autogestión en la España revolucionaria (Madrid, 1977), p. 69. Ricardo Sanz (El sindicalismo y la política: Los solidarios y nosotros [Toulouse, 1966], p. 83) notes that some militants abstained from smoking and drinking while others did not. On CENU, see Ramón Safón, La educación en la España revolucionara (1936–1939), trans. María Luisa Delgado and Félix Ortega (Madrid, 1978), pp. 91–95; Discurso of Juan Puig Elias (n.d.), Generalitat 266, AS. [BACK]

67. Floreal Ocaña quoted in Safón, Educación, p. 150. [BACK]

68. Floreal Ocaña, “La escuela moderna: Conferencia pronunciada el 30 de julio 1937,” Tiempos nuevos (Oct.–Nov. 1938). [BACK]

69. Economia: Butlletí mensual del departament d’economia de la Generalitat de Catalunya, September 1937. [BACK]

70. See files in 798, AS. [BACK]

71. Luz y fuerza, October 1937. [BACK]

72. CNT Marítima, 26 February, 23 April, 25 June 1937, 15 August and 20 November 1938. [BACK]

73. Solidaridad Obrera, 19 January 1938. [BACK]

74. 12 January 1937, 182, AS. [BACK]

75. Joint CNT-UGT declaration in UGT Edificación, 15 August 1937; italics added. [BACK]

76. Acta, 28 September and 5 October 1937, Generalitat 252, AS. [BACK]

77. De Companys a Indalecio Prieto: Documentación sobre las industrias de guerra en Cataluña (Buenos Aires, 1939), pp. 21–31. [BACK]

78. 26 and 29 September 1936, 182, AS. [BACK]

79. Reunión del pleno, 5 October 1936 (tarde), 181, AS. [BACK]

80. CNT Marítima, 26 February, 8 and 23 April 1937 and 11 September 1938. [BACK]

81. Boletín del Comité nacional de la CNT para exclusivo uso de los sindicatos, 1 November 1937. [BACK]

82. CNT Marítima, 2 April 1938. [BACK]

83. Ibid., 19 February 1938. The UGT did not have enough dependable militants to fill positions of responsibility in the power industry (14 December 1936, 182, AS). [BACK]

84. Comité nacional de relaciones de la industria fabril y textil CNT-AIT, Valencia, 626, AS. [BACK]

85. Comité central de España industrial, 10 December 1936, 626, AS; see H. E. Kaminski (Los de Barcelona, trans. Carmen Sanz Barberá [Barcelona, 1976], p. 181), who reports that directors who remained as technicians received 1,000 pesetas per month. [BACK]

86. Industria Olesana, S.A., companys de la ponencia del sindicato único del arte fabril i textil, 626, AS. [BACK]

87. Cf. Ramón Tamames, La república, la era de Franco (Madrid, 1980), p. 307, for a Euro-Communist analysis. The payment of salaries often depended on a firm’s economic situation; an engineer in a firm without resources might earn less than an unskilled laborer in an enterprise with contracts or influence (Consell de la federació local, 25 June 1937, 501, AS; Actas del pleno regional de industrias químicas, July 1937, 531, AS). [BACK]

88. Comité, 22 May and 1 September 1937, 501, AS. [BACK]

89. March 1937, Generalitat 282, AS. [BACK]

90. Kaminski, Barcelona, p. 181. [BACK]

91. Anna Monjo and Carme Vega, Els treballadors i la guerra civil (Barcelona, 1986), p. 87. [BACK]

92. Acta de asamblea (n.d.), 469, AS. [BACK]

93. Acta de asamblea, 21 February 1937, 469, AS. [BACK]

94. Reunión, 22 December 1936, 1204, AS. [BACK]

95. Mujeres libres, 17 February 1938, 529, AS; A todos los sindicatos, 25 April 1938, 1084, AS. [BACK]

96. Dr. Félix Martí Ibáñez, Obra: Diez meses de labor en sanidad y asistencia social (Barcelona, 1937), p. 77; Ruta, 1 January 1937. [BACK]

97. Quoted in Kaminski, Barcelona, p. 67; Dorsey Boatwright and Enric Ucelay Da Cal, “La dona del barrio chino,” L’Avenç, no. 76 (November 1984): 29. On legalization of abortion, see Mary Nash, “L’avortament legal a Catalunya,” L’Avenç, no. 58 (March 1983): 188–94. [BACK]

98. Consejo de la federación local UGT, 2 and 5 October 1937, 501, AS; Informe al ple, 7 August 1937, 1322, AS. [BACK]

99. Asamblea, R. Pujol Guell, 11 November 1937, 1085, AS. [BACK]

100. Reglamento interior, Eudaldo Perramon, 1 September 1938, 1219; Secciones modistas UGT-CNT, 2 July 1937, 1336, AS. [BACK]

101. UGT, letter from Elissa Uris and militants’ replies, August–September, 1049, AS. [BACK]

102. These citations are from F. W. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York, 1967); original italics. [BACK]

103. CNT Marítima, 15 September 1938. [BACK]

104. Letter from Francisco Cuinovart, 887, AS. [BACK]

105. Letter (signature unclear) to Junta administrativa del sindicato de la industria siderometalúrgica, 887, AS. [BACK]

106. Sidero-Metalurgia, September 1937. [BACK]

107. Horizontes, May 1937. [BACK]

108. Institut de ciències econòmiques de Catalunya, October 1937. [BACK]

109. Horizontes, February 1937. [BACK]

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