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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1920, No. 8, Art. 49 

Decree of the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars.

On the procedure for universal labor service.

Based on the basic law of the R.S.F.S.R. and the code of labor laws, requiring the involvement of all able‐bodied people to perform socially useful work in the interests of a socialist society, the Council of Peopleʹs Commissars in order to provide industry, agriculture, transport and other sectors of the national economy with the necessary labor force on the basis of the general economic plan, decided:

1. In the order of labor service, carry out:

a)  Involvement of the working population in a one‐time or periodic performance, regardless of permanent work by occupation, of various types of labor service: fuel, agricultural, both for state and, in certain cases, for peasant farms, construction, road, food, snow, horse‐drawn, to deal with the consequences of social disasters, etc.

Note . With all such duties, if necessary, living and dead inventory is also mobilized.

b)  The use of the labor force of the units of the Red Army and Navy.

c)   Attracting the necessary skilled workers from the army, as well as transferring persons employed in agriculture and handicraft enterprises to work in state enterprises, institutions and farms.

d) The widespread and constant involvement of people who are not engaged in socially useful work.

e)  The necessary redistribution of the available labor force.

2.                   To entrust the general guidance for the conduct of labor service to the Council of Workers ʹand Peasantsʹ Defense.

3.                   To form the Main Committee for General Labor Service, directly subordinate to the Defense Council, composed of representatives of the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Labor, the Peopleʹs Commissariat of Internal Affairs, and the Peopleʹs Commissariat for Military Affairs. In the localities, establish Provincial, Uyezd, and, if necessary, City Committees for general labor service, subordinate to the respective Executive Committees, consisting of representatives of the Military Commissariat, the Department of Management and the Department of Labor.

4.                   To entrust the Defense Council with the announcement of all labor mobilizations and duties of national importance specified in clause 1 of this resolution, and provide the Provincial Executive Committees, City Executive Committees and County Executive Committees with the right to declare, in accordance with special instructions of the Main Committee on General Labor Service, mobilization to meet local needs.

Note . The decisions of the Council of Defense, as well as the decisions of the Executive Committees, are published in places in the orders of the Provincial, City and Uyezd Committees for general labor service.

5.                   A. Provide the Provincial, City and County Committees to hand over the guilty to the Peopleʹs Court:

a) in evasion of registration and appearance for labor service; b) desertion from work, as well as incitement to such; c) in the use of forged documents, as well as in the production of such in order to facilitate the evasion of labor service; d) in the communication as officials of knowingly false information for the same purposes; e) deliberate damage to tools and materials; f) in the careless organization of work and the misuse of the mobilized force; g) in aiding the aforementioned acts and harboring the guilty, etc.

B.                   To grant to the subject Labor Committees, in exceptional cases of special malice or repetition of the aforementioned acts, to bring those responsible to the Revolutionary Tribunal.

C.                  Provide the same Committees with the right to immediately take the necessary preventive measures against the perpetrators, and in cases of less important violations of labor discipline, subject the perpetrators to administrative punishment, up to transfer to penal labor units and arrest for up to one week by order of the County Committees and two weeks by order of the Provincial.

Signed by:

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

Secretary S. Brichkina .

January 29, 1920.

Published in No. 25 of the News of the All‐Russian Central Executive

Committee of Soviets dated February 5, 1920.