Putilov Strikes of 1916

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Putilov Strikes of 1916

 

a series of major strikes in Russia during World War I. They were led by the workers of the Putilov Factory in Petrograd, which employed more than 21,000 persons.

A Bolshevik organization numbering more than 100 party members in 14 shop groups and Socialist Revolutionary and Menshevik organizations functioned at the factory. As a result of the war, the living conditions of the Putilov workers had deteriorated sharply. On February 4 the workers of the electrical shop demanded a 70 percent pay increase, and the next day all the workers went on strike. Headed by the Bolsheviks A. A. An-dreev, S. I. Afanas’ev, T. V. Baranovskii, I. G. Egorov, F. A. Lemeshev, and K. A. Nikolaev, the strike lasted six days and resulted in the partial satisfaction of the workers’ demands. The factory workers were supported by the 18-day strike of 3,000 workers at the Putilov shipyards.

A second strike broke out at the Putilov factory on February 16, turning into a general strike on February 22. At a mass meeting on February 23, the workers passed a resolution demanding higher wages and the establishment of an eight-hour workday. The authorities retaliated by locking out workers at the plant and drafting more than 2,000 of them into the army. In response to a Bolshevik appeal, the Putilov strike was supported by a city-wide workers’ strike (lasting from February 29 to March 3), in which 73,000 workers from 49 enterprises participated. The Socialist Revolutionary and Menshevik obo-rontsy (defensists) failed to break the strike. In all, the Putilov workers went on strike 42 times during World War I, accounting for 3.2 percent of all the Petrograd workers’ strikes. More than 160,000 people, or 13.5 percent of the total number of strikers, were involved in the Putilov strikes.

REFERENCES

Rabochee dvizhenie v Petrograde v 1912–1917 gg.: Dokumenty i materialy. Leningrad, 1958.
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. Pages 493–94.

I. P. LEIBEROV

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