Rostov Strike of 1902
Rostov Strike of 1902
a strike by workers in the industrial enterprises of Rostov-on-Don in November 1902. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were approximately 30,000 workers in the city, half of whom were employed at such major enterprises as the Main Workshop of the Vladikavkaz Railroad (2,600), the Asmolov Tobacco Factory (2,200), and the Aksai Plow Plant. On November 2, the workers in the boiler section of the railroad workshop went on strike in response to management’s intentional error in the computation of pay. On November 4, the Don Committee of the RSDLP issued a proclamation calling on all workers of the railroad workshop to strike and setting forth the strikers’ demands; these included a nine-hour day, increased pay, elimination of fines, and dismissal of the most hated foremen. On November 6 and 7, the strike spread throughout the city and took on a political character. Rallies attended by thousands were held at a ravine on the other side of the Temernik. The Don Committee of the RSDLP issued 17 proclamations with up to 30,000 copies. On November 11, the police and cossacks resorted to arms against strikers gathered at a mass rally. Six people were killed and 17 wounded. Mass meetings continued in Rostov-on-Don for another two weeks. As a gesture of solidarity, there were strikes during the second half of November by workers at the station of Tikhoretskaia and in the cities of Novorossiisk, Mineral’nye Vody, Vladikavkaz, and Gomel’. Arrests and the expulsion from the city of the most active strikers finally forced the strikers back to work. On November 26 the strike ended. On the same day the Don Committee issued its proclamation To the Citizens of All of Russia.
On the political actions of the Rostov workers that grew out of the strike Lenin noted; “For the first time the proletariat stood as a class against all other classes and against the tsarist government” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 9, p. 251). Approximately 30 committees and groups of the RSDLP, which were linked with Iskra, responded to the Rostov strike by issuing leaflets. The strike made a strong impression in Russia and evoked responses in Western Europe as well.
REFERENCENash krai: Dokumenty po istorii Donskoi oblasti, t. 1–XVIII–nachalo XX v. Rostov-on-Don, 1963.
IU. I. KIR’IANOV