Primary Workers

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Primary Workers


production workers directly engaged in the output of the main product of the enterprise, whether it be finished goods, semifinished goods, or individual items.

Primary workers constitute the most important part of the work force of the enterprise. The absolute number and relative proportion of primary workers in industry depend on how concentrated and specialized production has become, on the level of mechanization and automation in production processes, and on improved methods of organizing labor and production. An increase in the proportion of primary workers that is achieved by reducing the number of auxiliary workers is a major reserve for raising labor productivity and overall efficiency in social production.

In enterprise plans, primary workers are grouped by assigned shop, by specialization, and by level of qualification; their number is also reckoned according to length of service, sex, and age. The number of primary workers at an enterprise is conditioned by the nature of production technology and may be calculated on the basis of the labor intensity of various jobs, output norms, service norms, and standard work force sizes. In most industrial sectors, the planned number of primary workers for an enterprise as a whole is calculated on the basis of the labor intensity of planned physical output, the volume of required services, the real working time of one worker, and the calculated coefficient of norm fulfillment as defined in the plan. For example, the planned number of primary workers in normative jobs in machine building is defined by the ratio of the labor intensity of planned physical output (measured in norm-hours) to the real working time of one average worker, taking into account the planned percentage of norm fulfillment. In sectors with equipment- and unit-based production processes such as the chemical, metallurgical, and petroleum refining industries, where the worker’s function is essentially reduced to supporting and controlling the process, the necessary number of primary workers is determined by service norms.

The level of qualification of primary workers is characterized according to the skill categories they have attained; an average skill category for any collective of workers can be calculated. Primary workers in normative jobs are paid according to piece rates, while in timed jobs they are paid on an hourly wage scale.


Ekonomika truda. Edited by A. S. Kudriavtsev. Moscow, 1967.
Kostin, L. A. Planirovanie truda v promyshlennosti. Moscow, 1967.
Prakticheskoe posobie po ekonomike truda. Moscow, 1970.
Petrochenko, P. F., and K. E. Kuznetsova. Organizatsiia i normirovanie truda v promyshlennosti SSSR. [Moscow] 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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