Andre Guantinfa
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The Russia Project
The Blue-Collar Worker
In 1990 Andre worked as a plumber in a factory 100 miles south of Moscow. He enjoyed an adequate salary, a decent flat, free medical benefits, and low-cost childcare. In 1991 his factory was privatized. As is very common in the new Russia, the managers stole the company's assets while claiming they couldn't pay workers' wages. Workers went on strike for six months in 1999 and forced out the corrupt management. Today Andre is part of a three-worker committee that must sign off on all company invoices as a method of preventing management fraud.