The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Working question in the Don region on the eve of World War I

UDK 323 (471.67)


© 2009 S. Panchenko, E.M. Trusova

Southern Federal University, Southern Federal University,

B. Sadovaya St., 105, Rostov-on-Don, 344006, B. SadovayaSt., 105, Rostov-on-Don, 344006,

decanat@hist. sfedu. ru decanat@hist. sfedu. ru

The issue of resolution of conflicts between businessmen and hired workers still remains topical. Different forms of fight of workers for the rights on the eve of World War I, the strike, insurance movement, the organization and activity of health insurance funds which captured a significant amount of the cities and workers of Area of Army of Donskoy are considered.

The question about resolvings of conflicts between businessmen and hired workers still remains topical as before. In this article there are considered the different forms struggle of the workers for the rights on the eve of the First World War, strike and insurance movements, organization and activity of hospital cash departments captured significant amount of towns and workers in Oblast of Voisko of Don.

In 1989-1991 in the conditions of privatization of the enterprises the social tension amplified. In different forms in the country protests in connection with unresolved acute social issues were held. Instead of the solution of a working question the conflicts dragged on, the strike movement grew. It led to the fact that in the 90th the government fell into a difficult situation, many labor unions and working collectives were in opposition to it. At this time laws of the USSR and the Russian Federation on settlement of the collective labor disputes were issued. The adopted laws did not yield due result. In one of them as the researcher notes, it was not concretized

"a regulation subject - the labor disputes which were called & #34; labor спорами" (...i the new Labor Code of the Russian Federation avoids to speak about the conflicts, and & #34; споры" treats as & #34; not settled разногласие"). The long and multy-storey procedure & #34 was provided in it; урегулирования" including various negotiations, the commissions, committees." [1]. The issue of resolution of conflicts between businessmen and hired workers still remains topical.

Except the trade-union movement at the beginning of the 20th century, one of forms of fight of workers for the rights the insurance movement was. Workers and employees tried to obtain

introductions of insurance laws which would provide them security in case of loss of earnings. In the State Duma the bill of national insurance which the social democratic fraction opposed was discussed. Insurance did not extend all over the country and all categories of hired workers. It did not cover railroad workers, the working state and construction enterprises, agricultural workers, the enterprises with number of workers less than 20. Octobrists and cadets supported these conditions of insurance and on June 23, 1912 the III Duma adopted the insurance law.

The government nevertheless undertook the insurance reform which was not satisfying the mass of toilers. It was the share of each 100 people of the population of Russia two insured whereas in Germany - 31, in England - 33 [2]. Under the law

1912 insurance was led not in all but only in two cases: diseases and mutilations. There was no insurance upon disability, unemployment, on an old age, orphanhood, widowhood, motherhood was not insured.

For implementation of insurance health insurance funds which activity was watched by police and owners of the enterprises were due to illness created. Sick pays and the first 13 weeks for mutilations were paid for the account of workers. From among businessmen associations on insurance upon accidents were created. It gave the chance to establish scanty shares of grants or at all not to pay them, shifting fault for accident to the most working. Such national insurance was established under the new law. Even the law of June 2, 1903 obliged owners to pay grants to crippled workers. Now they cared for safety measures of work a little, and owners foreigners were not responsible for a condition of safety measures at all.

The number of accidents at the Don enterprises increased: factories, the plants, mines where fastening was almost not updated. So, at Sulinsky steel works in 1912 there were 452 accidents, in 1914 - already 676; at the same plant in Taganrog respectively - 1907 and 1961 [3]. The percent of total loss of working capacity and deaths grew.

At all limitation of the insurance law the workers launched an insurance campaign for creation of health insurance funds and elections of their boards. Political parties and labor unions actively participated in holding this campaign. At the Rostov plants of Nitner, Maximova, paper-mill of Panchenko, etc. [4] passed rough insurance meetings. On May 16

1913 at a city meeting of Rostov-on-Don the report was made by the worker Alekseev who covered essence of insurance on new reform of 1912 [5]. The Don security office informed department of police that in Rostov and Nakhchivan - on - Don association of public forces in holding an insurance campaign is noticeable [6].

By strike fight the workers tried to improve insurance in the interests. In Rostov,

Taganrog, Aleksandrovsk-Grushevske, on mines several insurance strikes - a protest against oppressions and arrests of working representatives-strakhovikov who directly from meetings were taken away escorted by on 8 - 15 people as, for example, at the Aksay plant, Nitnera, in Ter-Abramyana printing house [7] were held. The large insurance strike took place in February, 1914 at the Taganrog plant Nev Vilde and Co - a protest against arrest of the chairman of health insurance fund K.P. Susenko [8].

By June, 1914 in the Don region there were 81 health insurance funds with number of participants 90,077. The greatest number - 20 cash desks were created by workers of the factory enterprises of Rostov from 10 thousand members. 19 cash desks began work on mines of the Taganrog district which united about 20 thousand miners. On mines Aleksandrovsk-Grushevska 17 cash desks with number of members more than 16 thousand, etc. were registered [9]. In 1913 in the Don region there were 130 thousand workers [10]. Thus, insured there were about 69%. More than a half of all cash desks made cash desks of miners. In general on area the coverage of the population membership in health insurance funds was small. Approximately it was the share of each 100 people 2.5 insured.

The health insurance funds existing as the legal organizations played an important role in strengthening of ranks of hired workers, became their mass associations, tried to obtain the full solution of an issue of social insurance though radically they could not solve this problem in the conditions of autocracy. The insurance movement promoted permission of a number of economic tasks and political education of workers. Social democrats and non-party members of cash desks entered into the management of health insurance funds. The committee of RSDRP of Rostov and Nakhchivan - on - Don created the insurance commission which directed the insurance movement to the general course of political struggle of all public forces against autocracy that created conditions for carrying out democratic insurance. Apparently, the government policy in the field of insurance could not satisfy workers and fight continued.

Workers of Don raised the questions in the central democratic press, and it was too the way to draw the attention of proletarians of other cities and the enterprises to own situation. The press gave the chance to judge mood of working different places of the country, their unity and readiness to respond on working business. Within legal permissibility of the newspaper covered economic strikes, the nature of the requirements shown to owners and the authorities, showed with what results they ended. The press reported also about political strikes what it was punished more than once for as it is veiled carried out the idea of fight for revolutionary change of society.

The Menshevist Strakhovaniye Rabochikh magazine and the Luch newspaper came to the Area of army of Donskoy on a subscription. The last in 1913-1914 was received by 170 people in 13 settlements. The Bolshevist Pravda in 1913 to Dona had more than 60 subscribers, and in July, 1914 them was already 476 on 16 points of area [11]. Here magazines Bolshevist on - were delivered

boards "Issues of insurance" and "Worker". Periodicals were popular in a working environment and were subscribed by labor unions [12].

Workers of many factories, plants, the Donskoy mines of area reported in publications about the working day lasting till 16 o'clock (owners did not reckon with the law of 1897). On Taganrog Metallurgical Works, work lasted from 6 o'clock in the morning to 6 o'clock in the evening without interruption. It was allowed to have dinner only in workshops. The administration could force to work during a night shift, on the day off or on a holiday. At the Makiivka truboliteyny plant with application of overtime works the day of work lasted for 14 - 20 hours [13].

The social democratic press raised questions of introduction of the 8-hour working day, of reduction and cancellation of unreasonable penalties, of improvement and observance of the working legislation, of the unemployed which there were thousands in the Rostov and Taganrog ports [14].

In substantial essence of a working question there was a requirement of salary increase which at factories, the plants, the Dona mines was extremely low. In 10 years (from 1903 to 1913) compensation of hired workers as a result of their fight increased from 5.5 to 29.8%, but also food prices grew from 25 to 44.8%; the cost of housing increased by 100125% [15].

Newspapers responded to requirements of workers about political freedoms, covered the strikes called in protection of the working press against government and local police persecutions on it. The administration of the enterprises interfered with distribution of a democratic press. The chief of police of Aleksandrovsk-GRU-shevska wrote regional gendarme management about mass emergence of working newspapers: "Though these newspapers are also legalized, but they are villages of of the direction and extremely harmfully affect consciousness of workers. It is necessary to take measures to paralyze distribution of literature, so harmful to the miner population" [16].

At all difficult situation of editorial offices of the newspapers which are held down by censorship, workers received from them the help in fight for the satisfaction of the economic requirements imposed on businessmen and the authorities. The press maintained firmness of the workers who were not conceding to owners. For example, in August, 1913 the large strike of the Rostov printers of printing house of Yakovlev began. Joined them working in other printing houses. The strike lasted 18 days. The administration declared all worker and the employee calculation and closing of the enterprise. Through the newspaper the printers announced the jobs under boycott and "asked workers of printing not to go to Rostov" [17]. In solidarity workers of all printing houses of Rostov and Nakhchivan - on - Don refused to execute orders of Yakovlev's printing house and supported striking financially. So printers resolved by the combined efforts the vital issues, owners were forced to concede.

Hired workers, despite the constant repressions applied by municipal authorities and owners of industrial and other institutions, prodol-

reaped to assert the social rights. A considerable part of the democratic intellectuals for joint performances against police brutality joined them. Students of the Novocherkassk polytechnical institute, pupils of gymnasiums, some teachers, doctors, pharmacists, etc. participated in social movement. They created legal societies, circles: literary, sports, musical by training workers, to needlework for women and others where also antigovernmental promotion was illegally conducted.

Education - the most important component of a working question. The education level (in many respects at the expense of sunday schools and self-education) increased, but was not sufficient. During the strikes in the list of requirements the workers put forward construction of schools. For example, metallurgists of the Sulinsky plant and miners of the Ry-kovsky mine demanded from owners to construct school and library on 500 places, to annually allocate 300 rubles for acquisition of books [18].

Students who were provided by parents, and even not having funds for training sought to get an education in capital higher education institutions of Russia and the oldest universities of Europe. It gave the chance to expand base of education and to deepen various knowledge. Among the most capable youth this tradition remained. In the conditions of the 21st century when Russia entered the Zone of the European education, the role of the universities increased in development of cultural values, mobility of citizens with ampler opportunities of their employment. Educational cooperation is important in strengthening of peace democratic societies, assists in belonging to the general social and cultural space [19]. Thus, issues of education of youth at the beginning of the 20th century were the focus of attention not only the intellectuals, but also the advanced workers. The mankind seeks for creation of harmonious society.

In fight for the satisfaction of various requirements of economic and political character the workers and relatives on interests population groups used a campaign for elections of the IV State Duma. In June, 1912 the term of office of the III Duma ended. In the summer and there took place preparation of elections to the IV Duma in the fall. The Rostov Bolshevist organization after a number of arrests was weakened, but in September it created new "Central" group led by V.M. Kasparov, V.G. Kor-neeva. From Panchenko's factory, Lelya's plant, Gordon's printing house and mines Bolsheviks were among representatives [20].

Mensheviks (B.S. Vasilyev, A.S. Lokerman) went to the block with cadets. The Don security office in August reported to department of police: "The representative of local cadet party V.F. Zeeler signed the contract with Vasilyev as the head of Mensheviks, that they will make the block on elections to the IV State Duma and will carry out in electors of the members" [21].

On Regional Assembly of representatives on October 4 in Novocherkassk two election platforms - Mensheviks and Bolsheviks were discussed. Mensheviks demanded "sovereign national predstavitelst-

va, created on the basis of universal suffrage, freedom of coalition", etc. Bolsheviks released "Order" to the Don deputy with an appeal "to protect the interests of the revolutionary proletariat and all democracy... not to belittle requirements of the revolutionary proletariat" [22] that his activity directed to strengthening of social democracy will be supported by workers. Pre-election debates were heated. Representatives have to elect those who will raise "a working question" in the new structure of the Duma and will try to obtain its decision.

The requirement of introduction of the 8-hour working day was included in both platforms that workers welcomed and hoped to resolve this issue in the Duma. From 90 representatives who were present at a meeting 14 voted for the platform of Mensheviks. The meeting elected 3 electors: S. Kosinevsky, V. Laz and I.N. Tulyako-va. They said that they "stand up for the Bolshevist platform" [23]. At a regional congress of electors the mechanic of the Sulinsky plant of Inhabitants of Tula who soon passed into a Menshevist part of social democratic fraction of the Duma was elected to the Duma the deputy. Workers of the Don region kept in contact with deputies G.I. Petrovsky and A.E. Badayev by means of whom tried to obtain the solution of the problems.

One of the main forms of the labor movement directed to increase in the standard of living, formation and improvement of working conditions, life economic and political strikes were. In 1912-1914 their number constantly increased. Strikes became longer and persistent. If in 1912, according to official data, in the area took place of 26 strikes, then in the first half of 1914 - 72. Labor movement was gone ahead by metalworkers, miners, printers and other categories of workers.

In December, 1913 the miners of the Rykovsky mine of 5 days striked, having shown 26 paragraphs of requirements to owners. The constant requirement of the 8-hour working day which could be satisfied in the state scale was on the first place. Miners welcomed the Bolshevist fraction in the Duma which submitted this bill for discussion. Similar requirements were made by miners of the Paramonova mine in April of the same year. 7 thousand working adjacent mines joined them [24]. Military teams went for suppression of working disorders. The authorities were afraid of scope of strikes and their distribution on other mountainous areas of area. Businessmen went to the full satisfaction of all requirements striking.

On the eve of World War I the labor movement in the field of Donskoy's army was on rise. In May - July, 1914 it reached the level of a general city strike in Rostov, such form of fight as an exit to the street was used: many thousands meetings in Sulin, Taganrog, mines, meetings and demonstrations. On July 14, despite the strengthened squads of police and the military units which were in a ready state in solidarity with proletarians of St. Petersburg and Baku the three-day general strike in Rostov and Nakhchivan-on began

Don. All large and small enterprises of the city except for railway workshops and tobacco factory of Asmolov stopped [25].

In the conditions of the national political crisis in the country which captured and Don region as an empire component, labor movement was at the level of high organization and unity, growth of political consciousness of a people at large was noticeable. Resolutely social and economic and political demands of workers, their legal status in society were made and defended. The social democratic fraction of the Duma tried to obtain statement of a working question before the government. But the Duma pravooktyabristsky and ok-tyabristsko-cadet majority did not enter 8-hour day of work and did not solve other problems of workers.

Hired workers acted together with other public forces close according to requirements. Different forms of the legal social movement protecting the interests of the working people were applied. However in living conditions of the autocratic monarchy it was not succeeded to resolve a working issue at the level of the government completely though its separate parties by efforts of workers decided. The government policy in relation to hired workers came down to half measures, cardinally it did not change that was one of the reasons for the collapse of the monarchy.


1. R.F. Matveev. Labor unions and problems of social protection of the population (experience of Western Europe). Rostov N / D, 2004. Page 12, 13.
2. Insurance of workers in Russia and in the West. T. 1. Issue 2. St. Petersburg, 1913. Page 26.
3. Reports of the chief of southeast mountain management for 1912 Novocherkassk, 1913. Page 4, 421; The Same for 1914 Novocherkassk, 1915. Page 435.
4. Azov region. 1913. July 10.
5. SARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation). T. DP. 7 Far Eastern Military District. 1913. 837. L. 32.
6. In the same place. T. DP. 00. 1913. 5. Part 21. L. 34.
7. Truth. 1913. On March 19, on May 25.
8. GARO. T. 8. Op. 1. 430. L. 147.
9. In the same place. T. 455. Op. 3. 417. L. 2-47.
10. The October revolution to Dona. Rostov N / D, 1957. Page 57.
11. V.T. logins. Lenin Pravda. M, 1972. Page 392.
12. GARO. T. 68. Op. 1. 2. L. 7.
13. Truth. 1912. June 27; 1913. March 20.
14. For the Truth. 1913. 21 noyab.
15. Truth. 1914. March 12.
16. GARO. T. 829. Op. 1. 447. L. 154.
17. Northern Truth. 1913. Aug. 25, 28; On Sep. 3
18. GARF. T. DP. IV. 1913. 45. L. 52.
19. Information materials. Bologna Process. M, 2005. Page 10.
20. GARF. T. DP. 1912. 130. Part 45. L. 29.
21. GARO. T. 826. Op. 1. 162. T. 2. L. 483.
22. GARF. T. DP. 00. 1912. 5. Part 21. L. 44, 45.
23. In the same place. L. 49, 50.
24. In the same place. 1913. 45. Part 2. L. 17, 53.

Came to edition

25. In the same place. 1914. 45. Part 11. L. 107, 109; Morning of the South. 1914. July 15.

On March 30, 2007

Meghan Arlene
Other scientific works: