Soviet Archives - Collection of Government Documents on Workers

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From the Collection of enactment and decrees of the government for 1921, Administration of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR

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1919, No. 56, Art. 537

Decree of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars.

About Workersʹ Disciplinary Comrades Courts (Regulations).

In view of the particularly difficult military food and fuel situation in the Soviet Republic, as well as in order to raise labor discipline and labor productivity to the highest limits and to use all the productive forces available in the country expediently, the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars decides to put this provision into effect.

1.         This provision applies to the entire territory of the RSFSR. and is mandatory for all Soviet, nationalized, cooperative and private enterprises and institutions.

2.         Disciplinary courts are approved in order to raise and strengthen production and tariff discipline for the consideration of cases of violations by all workers in enterprises and institutions of the general normal regulation on the tariff, special additions to it, internal regulations, as well as decisions of union bodies on labor and union discipline ...

3.         Courts are organized at local branches (provincial, district district) industrial trade unions on the principle of representation, consisting of one representative of the local or central plant management, one from the Board of the Trade Union and one from the general meeting of the union members of the enterprise whose case is subject to consideration.

Note . In enterprises and institutions with at least 500 employees, court sessions take place directly at a factory, plant or institution.

4.         The court shall elect from among its members a chairman and a secretary.

5.         Sessions of the court take place from time to time in public outside of working hours.

6.         The courts are supported by the state according to the estimates of the labor departments of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Labor.

7.         The right to bring to a comradesʹ court belongs to the plant management of enterprises, collegia and bodies replacing them in institutions, production unions and their bodies.

Note . Individual members of unions can initiate a question of bringing to a comradesʹ court through the factory committees and the committees of employees.

8.         The parties are granted the right of cassation against verdicts of local courts to the provincial comradely disciplinary court at the provincial department of labor, organized also on the basis of representation: 1 from the Labor Department, 1 from the Provincial Council of Trade Unions and 1 from the Provincial Council of National Economy. The verdicts of the Provincial Court are final and immediately enforced.

9.         The court imposes the following penalties: 1) a reprimand with the announcement of such an enterprise or institution, 2) temporary deprivation of the right to participate in elections and the right to be elected to union organizations for a period not exceeding 6 months, 3) temporary transfer to a lower position with payment for the lowest tariff rate for a period not exceeding one month, 4) sending for heavy socially necessary work, with payment at the rate of work performed, and in case of persistent unwillingness to obey comradely discipline and repeated penalties, as an unworkable element, they are subject to dismissal from enterprises with the transfer to a concentration camp.

10.     If the court detects signs of a criminal or civil offense, the case is immediately referred by the court to the appropriate judicial institution of the Soviet Republic.

11.     The procedure for organizing the examination of cases and bringing to court and imposing penalties is determined by a special instruction developed by the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Labor, the AllRussian Council of Trade Unions by agreement with the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Justice.

12.     The dissolution of courts is carried out by the Peopleʹs

Commissariat of Labor by agreement with the presidium of the All‐

Russian Central Council of Trade Unions.

13.     The relevant bodies of Soviet power are charged with the duty of unswerving implementation of the decisions of the disciplinary courts.

14.     Administrative and technical personnel of plant management bodies, institutions and enterprises (heads of both enterprises and its departments, heads of departments or departments of the institution, etc.) for violation of tariff discipline, as well as for negligence, indiscriminateness and insufficient use of the available staff and productive forces of enterprises and institutions are subject to collection up to arrest and transferring the perpetrators to concentration camps.

Signed by:

Chairman of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars V. Ulyanov (Lenin) .

Secretary S. Brichkina .

November 14, 1919;

Published in No. 257 Izvestia of the All‐Russian Central Executive

Committee of Soviets dated November 16, 1919.