[43] Trade unions re-established themselves and grew substantially compared to the war years. Melancon, Michael: Rethinking Russia’s February Revolution. The metal workers’ union of Petrograd which in August, 1917, had 200,000 members, has only 50,000 now. A new and unique economic organization is created, which is the synthesis of all the forms which the labor movement takes. Labor in the Russian Revolution: Factory Committees and Trade Unions, 1917-1918. Yet, as Antoine Prost has noted, the last two decades have seen a r… Thatcher, Ian D.: Late Imperial Urban Workers, in: Thatcher, Ian D. The strike in commemoration of 1905, which took place on 5 January 1917, saw the participation of over one-third of Petrograd’s industrial workforce, and on 14 February of this same year, 85,000 workers laid down tools.[39]. [23] Nevertheless, these scattered revolutionary activists managed to exert influence on the shop floor when the temporary halt of the labour struggles ceased in mid-1915, and even more so on the eve of the February Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Some of the skilled workers who were originally drafted into the army were sent back to the factories to make their military contribution on workbenches rather than in trenches, remaining under military discipline within the factories. [10] Strikes, however, were a widespread phenomenon. [48] Already in April and May, large anti-war demonstrations took place. The Soviet regime has no support whatever, and in spite of all this, for three whole years the united forces of the international counter-revolution and the Russian counter-revolution are vainly trying to overthrow it. From the first days of the March Revolution the working class and its “absurd aspirations” became the object of a furious hatred on the part of the contractors and manufacturers: these gentry understood perfectly well that the Revolution once begun could not be stopped half-way, that one of the principal classes, the bourgeoisie or the proletariat, must be master of the situation. Others thought that the unions should disappear making room for the Shop and Factory Committees. Haimson, Leopold: The Problem of Social Stability in Urban Russia, 1905-1917 (Part One), in: Slavic Review 23/4 (1964), pp. After the October Revolution the economic strikes ceased: the workers, having set in motion a mighty power, forced the bosses to give them new rates of pay. Confederation of Revolutionary Anarcho-Syndicalists, formed in 1995, affiliated with the International Workers Association. In 1906 and 1907 in Russia there were 200,000 organized workers. The assembly of the committees of one city or a district elect the DISTRICT COMMITTEE. The Russian worker feels it in all his daily life. 619–642; Haimson, Leopold: The Problem of Social Stability in Urban Russia, 1905-1917 (Part Two), in: Slavic Review 24/1 (1965), pp. The year is 1917. McKean, St Petersburg 1981, pp. Even though there was never a general decree that outlawed trade unions during the war, they were violently disbanded by the authorities one the other and barred from re-registration. But the defeat of the Revolution was the defeat of the Labor Movement. 1–22; Haimson, Leopold: "The Problem of Political and Social Stability in Urban Russia on the Eve of War and Revolution Revisited", in: Slavic Review 59/4 (2000), pp. The bourgeois press of the whole world invents the most abominable lies against the Russian workers. ; Smith, Stephen A.: Red Petrograd. The October Revolution was treated with equal hostility by all imperialists — the Entente imperialists and the German imperialists. This can easily be seen by these divers facts: in the All-Russian conference of the unions held during the month of June. The Revolution would have been impossible in Russia if even before the month of October, 1917, the Bolsheviki did not have the immense majority in all unions, for it is impossible to accomplish a social revolution outside of the unions or against their will. Iiul’ 1914 - fevral’ 1917 gg. [34], The second wave of strikes in the first half of 1916 brought about an even more disproportionate amount of strike activity in Petrograd compared to the rest of the empire, and of metal workers compared to other branches. 432–435. But up to the Revolution in 1905 there were no labor unions in Russia. Bater, James H.: St Petersburg. 480–483. [41] All political parties could operate in the open, and the Leftist parties were allowed to grow substantially. 427–440. When four members … Ibid., p. 421; Hasegawa, Revolution 1981, p. 100. Worker Activism in Petrograd and Moscow Between February and October, 1917, in: Haimson/Sapelli (eds): Strikes 1992, pp. The process of industrialisation in the Russian Empire gave birth to a new class of industrial labourers, recruited from Russia’s predominantly peasant population. A Discussion of Statistical Data, in: Haimson/Sapelli (eds. [26] In the summer of 1915, the Central War-Industries Committee (TsVPK), a liberal industrialist association, proposed to introduce a so-called “Labour Group” into their structures in the hope of a tighter incorporation of workers into the national war effort. The Petrograd Soviet constituted one half of the “Dual Power” system, competing and collaborating with the Provisional Government. Party identities, however, remained vague: Koenker, Diane: Moscow Workers and the 1917 Revolution, Princeton 1981, pp. While political strikes outside Petrograd were recorded in significant numbers in Moscow and Nizhegorod provinces, in the capital itself it was the metal workers of the Vyborg district who constituted a mere 1 percent of Russia’s industrial working class, that incited 45.7 percent of all political strikes. Problems and Prospects, Manchester 2005, pp. By 1914, only a mere 0.5 to 0.8 percent of the industrial workforce were members of either the Bolshevik or the Menshevik factions of the Social Democrats. [6] Compared to the other European nations, the Russian working class was the least integrated into the nation state. Proofreader: Chris Clayton The Russian unions are not organisms of power; however their resolutions (mostly touching upon questions of the toilers’ life and labor) are definite resolutions and always receive the sanction of the corresponding organs of power. This profoundly irritated the workers and the abyss that was dug then between functionaries and workers, was filled only during the last few months, and not completely at that. In Russia there are two types of trade unions: those that survived from the Soviet era and the newly established ones that have appeared independently. It is because food is scarce and we cannot transport the Siberian wheat on the Volga, while in Ukraine, it is difficult to transport because we have to repel constant attacks from all the unchained dogs of the Entente. Labor in the Russian Revolution: Factory Committees and Trade Unions, 1917-1918: Factory Committees and Trade Unions, 1917-18: Amazon.de: Shkliarevsky, Gennady: Fremdsprachige Bücher Workers and Revolutionaries, June 1907 - February 1917, New Haven 1990; Thatcher, Workers 2005. They are the expression of the workers’ dictatorship; they are the form that the proletarian State has taken in a determined phase of the development of the social struggle, during the transition period between capitalism and Communism. Kir’ianov, Iurii I.: Sotsial’no-politicheskii protest rabochikh Rossii v gody Pervoi mirovoi voiny. Comrades, permit me before broaching my report on the Labor Movement in Russia, to give you the ardent fraternal greetings of the Russian proletariat, of that Russian proletariat which struggles, suffers, but never loses courage. [51] In any case, workers did not give up strikes and other forms of resistance under the new regime.[52]. But Otto Bauer and Kautsky have shown that the peasants are against the Soviets. [11] While strikes were classified as “economic” or “political” by the authorities, and subsequently by historians, the boundaries between these categories were often fluid. Prior to 2007, the effect of their activities was difficult to notice. [29] The statistics reveal not only that the capital was at the centre of strike activities, but they also reveal the high number of political strikes as compared to economic unrest. Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive Its causes were not so much economic or social as political and cultural. The post-revolutionary situation presented the labour movement with completely new conditions. Assoc., ca. Admin Login. Business owners would sometimes put spies in the unions and then fire any workers that tried to join. Such anarchic aspirations, very strong during the first period of the October Revolution, found an energetic opposition from all the centralized unions. No regime can exist that does not reflect the interests of a determined class, if it is not the expression of the hopes and aspirations of a determined social group which plays a decisive role in production. (eds. Simultaneously appeared the Shop and Factory Committees, which took into their own hands the economic struggle and took the lead of the extraordinary wave of strikes. Soviet trade unions, headed by the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (Всесоюзный Центральный Совет Профессиональных Союзов, ВЦСПС [VTsSPS]), traced their history back to the 1905 Russian Revolution, roughly 15 years before the Soviet Union was founded. The lesson from the Russian Revolution, which is so aptly put by Comrade Lozovsky is that the unions, being the natural grouping of the workers as producers, which develop the class consciousness and militancy of the workers, develop at the same time their sense of responsibility and discipline, preparing them for the difficult task of organizing production and exchange in the Communist society. By organizing the work, they are organizing production itself; they become, so to speak, the spinal cord of the economic apparatus. The March Revolution, even though it opened the, road of organization and creation to the toiling, masses, had overthrown nothing but czarism; the whole State apparatus with its functionaries, the whole capitalist system with its monstrous consequences: the anarchy in production, exploitation of the masses, capitalist profits, decisive influence over the governmental apparatus by the organizations of contractors and industrials, private property of the means of production, etc. Notes. At provincial branches of the TsVPK, local Labour Groups were founded as well. … The textile workers’ union which during the same period had 36,000 members in Petrograd, now has only 10,000. This particular trend manifested itself not only in active rejection of socialist agitation, but also in products of “patriotic” mass culture, eagerly consumed by workers. 101–119; Postnikov, Sergei P./Fel’dman, Mikhail A.: Sotsiokul’turnyi oblik promyshlennykh rabochikh Rossii v 1900-1941 gg. The Russian workers, with a sublime heroism and with a sublime spirit of sacrifice, are dying on all fronts defending their conquests, trying to break the blockade with which international capitalism starves our bodies and tries to strangle the Revolution. Skilled metal workers were on the forefront of war-time political strikes. In August 1916, 94 percent of all workers, and 61 percent of all factories in Petrograd worked to fulfil the army’s demands. Pp. Kir'ianov, Iurii Ilоich / Tiutiukin, S. V.: Russland ; Weltkrieg [1914-1918] ; Arbeiterbewegung. Rosenberg, William G./Koenker, Diane P.: Strikes and Protest in Revolutionary Russia. Comrades, permit me to conclude my report by the general characteristics of the situation in which the Russian proletariat finds itself to-day. Thanks to the unions, the conquest of power was accomplished in two directions. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2014-10-08. The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, also known as the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or the Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist political party founded in Minsk, Belarus. That means that not only the manual workers, but the clerks and technicians, too, working in a metallurgical enterprise, belong to the metal workers union. The cooperative union of production in Russia is built along the following line: in the base, the SHOP and FACTORY COMMITTEE, elected every six months by the workers and employees in an enterprise. Please credit Title:: The Role of the Labor Unions in the Russian Revolution: Author:: Lozovskiĭ, A., 1878-1952: Note: New York: Union Pub. The origins of the labor movement lay in the formative years of the American nation, when a free wage-labor market emerged in the artisan trades late in the colonial period. Formy, dinamika i priroda massovykh vystuplenii rabochikh v Sovetskoi Rossii. The further we go away from capitalism and we approach Communism, the more will the unions merge with the economic organs of the Soviet Republic, which are already created with the aid of the unions and thus a unique system of economic organisms is created which distributes labor and production. Humanity, thrown into an abyss of misery and fear, has found its revenge in the revolution: crowns have fallen by the dozen; in their turn tumble into the abyss the capitalists and bourgeois regimes that wore them. [22] At the same time, one can observe a complete breakdown of revolutionary parties, especially within workplace environments. Then, is it the Proletariat? Haimson/Brian, Labor Unrest 1992, p. 408–411. The workers organized the Councils: the Soviet of workers’ deputies as instruments of the political struggle as well as organs embracing all of the workers. We thus come to an unhoped for discovery: there is a State of 130 million inhabitants, against which have declared themselves the bourgeoisie, the peasants and the workers. The reverse of the Hungarian experience is to be found in the fact that the Capp-Lutwitz coup-d’etat in Germany last year was defeated in no time by the united power of the German labor unions, who like one struck a death blow to the monarchist putch (insurrection). Cambridge Soviet Paperbacks, volume 8. Nearly 4 million worked in large industrial enterprises. At the time there was a flourishing movement in the Russian Empire toward workers' rights, not just among those socialists who sought workers' control of industry (syndicalism, union democracy, and so on) but also among socially conserv… What are they doing there?”, When we saw at last the creation in Berne and Amsterdam of the International Federation of Trade Unions, at the head of which were the men who collaborated in the International Labor Bureau of the “League of Nations”, we asked ourselves: “Can we consider those men who make common cause with the authors of the Versailles peace and so many other monstrous crimes, as representatives of labor?”. 2. Metal workers began to become involved in economic strikes while, unlike other workers, they had not yet substantially suffered from a decline of real wages. They were rather well-paid relative to other workers, and were not hit as hard by war-time wage shortages. 7 But is labor the decisive element for explaining the outbreak, character, and course of revolution in the Russian empire? [3] What they had in common were appalling work conditions, housing problems, low wages, and a weak position vis-à-vis the factory administration. In the districts, a district union bureau, in the departments, a Soviet of Unions; and in the center the Soviet of the All-Russian Unions. [50] It is still an open debate whether the final political expropriation of the working class by the Bolsheviks was completed by the early or the mid-1920s. It gives attention to workers and their forms of protest as well as the activities of the organised labour movement and its institutions, such as trade unions and political parties. They also emboldened the organised political labour movement. 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