the system of legal norms that regulates labor relationships and other relationships of a similar nature. Modern Soviet labor legislation sets high standards for working conditions and ensures that all employee rights are honored.
A particular feature of labor legislation in the USSR is the participation of trade unions in the setting of norms by the state in the area of labor and wages. The All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions and the republic trade union councils have been granted the right of legislative initiative. The country’s legislative and administrative bodies will not adopt any norms in the area of labor and wages without consultation with trade unions.
The system of Soviet labor legislation includes such pieces of All-Union labor legislation as the Principles of Labor Law of the USSR and the Union Republics (1970), the Law on State Pensions (1956, with later amendments), the Statute on the Procedure for Settling Labor Disputes (1974), and the decree On the Rights of Local Trade Union Committees (1971). In elaborating these laws, the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted the Statute on Rules for Assigning and Paying State Pensions (1972) and the Rules for Calculating the Period of Continuous Employment (1973). Labor legislation also includes the legislation of the Union republics, mainly the codes of labor laws adopted in 1971–73, and the directives on labor and wages issued by various ministries and departments. A special place here is occupied by the directives on labor, wages, working hours, time off, work norms, and pensions issued by the State Committee on Labor and Wages. The committee’s most important acts are promulgated either jointly or by agreement with the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. Rules established by management at the enterprise level with the agreement of the factory, plant, or local committee that reflect conditions peculiar to an enterprise or locality are also part of labor legislation.
The USSR’s system of labor legislation also includes acts of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions on collective agreements and social insurance and on the activities of technical inspection agencies.
The system of labor legislation contains norms applying to all employees and norms covering only certain categories of employees. The latter usually set forth exceptions from the general norms, areas of application of general norms, supplementary benefits (for example, for persons working in the Far North), and increased liability for certain categories of workers.
V. I. SMOLIARCHUK