Draft Regulations on Workers' Control

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V. I. Lenin




    1. Workers' control over the production, storage, purchase and sale of all products and raw materials shall be introduced in all industrial, commercial, banking, agricultural and other enterprises employing not less than five workers and office employees (together), or with an annual turnover of not less than 10,000 rubles.

    2. Workers' control shall be exercised by all the workers and office employees of an enterprise, either directly, if the enterprise is small enough to permit it, or through their elected representatives, who shall be elected immediately at general meetings, at which minutes of the elections shall be taken and the names of those elected communicated to the government and to the local Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies.

    3. Unless permission is given by the elected representatives of the workers and office employees, the suspension of work of an enterprise or an industrial establishment of state importance (see Clause 7), or any change in its operation is strictly prohibited.

    4. The elected representatives shall be given access to all books and documents and to all warehouses and stocks of materials, instruments and products, without exception.

    5. The decisions of the elected representatives of the workers and office employees are binding upon the owners of enterprises and may be annulled only by trade unions and their congresses.

    6. In all enterprises of state importance all owners and all representatives of the workers and office employees elected for the purpose of exercising workers' control shall be answerable to the state for the maintenance of the

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strictest order and discipline and for the protection of property. Persons guilty of dereliction of duty, concealment of stocks, accounts, etc., shall be punished by the confiscation of the whole of their property and by imprisonment for a term of up to five years.

    7. By enterprises of state importance are meant all enterprises working for defence, or in any way connected with the manufacture of articles necessary for the existence of the masses of the population.

    8. More detailed rules on workers' control shall be drawn up by the local Soviets of Workers' Deputies and by conferences of factory committees, and also by committees of office employees at general meetings of their representatives. <"NOTES">


  <"en107">[107] The Law on Workers' Control was drafted right after the revolution. Lenin's Draft Regulations on Workers' Control, which he wrote on October 26 or 27 (November 8 or 9), 1917, was discussed and in the main adopted by a meeting at the Petrograd Central Council of Factory Committee, at which Lenin was present. On October 27, the draft was placed before the Council of People's Commissars, which authorised Milyutin and Larin to draw up detailed Draft Regulations on Workers' Control within two days. But their draft clashed with the tasks of revolutionary workers' control

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formulated by Lenin; for instance, it did not contain the most important clause making decisions of workers' control bodies binding on factory owners. Lenin's draft was then taken as a basis for the law on workers' control. It was amended and published in Gazeta Vremennogo Rabochego i Krestyanskogo Pravitelstva (Gazette of the Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government ) No. 3, of November 1 (14), under the title: "Draft Law on Workers Control (Submitted to the Labour Commission)". In the subsequent discussion, it was proposed that workers' control bodies setup in the localities should be replaced by government bodies, and that workers' control should be introduced only at the major factories, railways, etc. Lenin won his point that workers' control should be introduced everywhere to stimulate the workers' initiative. The final drafting of the decree was assigned to a commission of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee appointed on November 8 (21). On November 14 (27) the All-Russia Central Executive Committee examined the commission's draft and issued the decree which is known as "Regulations on Workers' Control", and contains the basic provisions of Lenin's draft. The decree was published in Izvestia No. 227, on November 16 (29).    [p. 264]