Putilov Strike of 1905

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Putilov Strike of 1905


a strike involving more than 12,000 workers at the Putilov metallurgical and machine-building factory in St. Petersburg (now the Leningrad Kirov Factory) during a revolutionary period in Russia.

The immediate cause of the strike was the dismissal of four workers. On Dec. 29, 1904, the Putilov workers demanded that the four workers be rehired and that the foreman who had discharged them be fired. The demand was rejected by the management. On January 2, about 600 workers from the Putilov and other factories gathered at the Narva office of the Assembly of Russian Factory and Plant Workers of St. Petersburg to work out new demands. These included the introduction of an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage and the formation of an elected workers’ committee that would work jointly with the management to resolve workers’ grievances. The factory management rejected these demands as well.

The strike began on January 3. The St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP took steps to turn the strike of the Putilov workers into a general strike of the St. Petersburg proletariat. On January 4 the Putilov workers were joined by the workers at the Franco-Russian Factory and on January 5, by workers at the Neva Shipbuilding Factory and other factories. On January 7–8 the strike became a general one. According to the incomplete data of the factory inspectorate, it affected 456 enterprises with 113,000 workers (150,000 according to some sources). No newspapers were published in St. Petersburg, and the city’s industrial and commercial life was paralyzed.

The Putilov workers helped write a petition to the tsar and took part in the peaceful march to the Winter Palace on Jan. 9, 1905. When the tsarist troops fired on the demonstrators, some 45 Putilov workers were killed and 61 were seriously wounded. The massacre enraged the workers, and the strike continued. Work at the plant was resumed only on January 18.


Mitel’man, M., B. Glebov, and A. Ul’ianskii. Istoriia Putilovskogo zavoda, 1801–191 7, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Istoriia rabochikh Leningrada, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1972.


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