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This article examines compulsory reduced working time (CRWT) in five Belarusian factories, to assess its impact on employment relationships and evaluate arguments about ‘Soviet legacies’ and labour ‘patience’. Local use of CRWT increased between 2001 and 2012, and took a form more inimical to worker interests, thereby differing from official macro statistics. Managers expressed discontent at being pushed by state policy to use CRWT, but used it as a disciplinary tool. Workers perceived worsening work relationships and threats of collective response were in evidence. Arguments about ‘Soviet legacies’ and labour’s ‘patience’ therefore currently appear inappropriate.

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Journal Article

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