Trade Union Publications
Trade Union Publications
newspapers, magazines, and other publications put out by trade unions and devoted to their activities.
In Russia the trade union press developed under the ideological leadership of the Bolshevik Party. The first trade union publications appeared during the period of the Revolution of 1905–07. Bolsheviks occupied prominent positions on the staffs of the newspapers Zheleznodorozhnik (Railroad Worker, Moscow), Zheleznodorozhnaia gazeta (Railroad Newspaper, St. Petersburg), and Semafor (Semaphore, Odessa), the Moscow magazines Professional (Professional), Tekhnik (Technician), Fabrichnyi (Factory Worker), and Bulochnik (Baker), and the magazines Golos truda (Voice of Labor, Voronezh), Tipografskii listok (Printer’s Sheet, Saratov), and Sibirskii prikazchik (Siberian Tradesman, Omsk). With the direct involvement of V. I. Lenin, the magazine Metallist (Metal Worker, 1911–14) became one of the main legal organs of the Bolshevik Party. The magazine Voprosy strakhovaniia (Problems of Insurance), which was based on one of the sections of the newspaper Pravda, was first published during the course of the insurance campaign of 1913. The creation of the magazine Professional’nyi vestnik (Professional Journal) in 1917 was an important event.
Under the autocracy, the trade union publications exposed the exploitation of workers in factories and mills, called on the working people to fight for their rights, explained the necessity of a close link between the economic and political struggles, and exposed the Menshevik theory of the “neutrality” of the trade unions. Trade union organs were subjected to fines and confiscations and their editors to arrest and banishment, but the newspapers and magazines were reissued owing to the active support of the workers themselves.
After the victory of the October Revolution of 1917, the development of the trade union press was extensive. The newspaper Gudok (The Whistle) and magazines such as Revoliutsionnyi pechatnik (Revolutionary Printer) and Tkach (Weaver) were founded in December 1917. In 1919 the newspaper of the All-Russian and Moscow Councils of Trade Unions, Professional’noe dvizhenie (Professional Movement), appeared; in 1921, the newspaper Trud (Labor); in 1924, the Stroitel’naia gazeta (Construction Newspaper) and the Uchitel’skaia gazeta (Teachers’ Newspaper); in 1926, Sovetskaia torgovlia (Soviet Trade); in 1929, Sovetskaia kul’tura (Soviet Culture) and Lesnaia promyshlennost’ (Timber Industry); in 1932, Vodnyi transport (Water Transport); and in 1938, Meditsinskii rabotnik (Medical Worker).
In 1974 the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (VTsSPS) and the central committees of the trade unions independently and jointly with the ministries and departments published nine central newspapers and 24 sociopolitical magazines and trade magazines written for the general public, including the magazines of the VTsSPS Sovetskie profsoiuzy (Soviet Trade Unions), Klub i khudozhestvennaia samodeiatel’nost’ (Club and Amateur Talent Activities), Okhrana truda i sotsial’noe strakhovanie (Protection of Labor and Social Insurance), and Turist (Tourist). The Central Council of the All-Union Society of Inventors and Rationalizers publishes the journal Izobretatel’ i ratsionalizator (Inventor and Rationalizer). The All-Union Council of Scientific and Technical Societies publishes the journal Tekhnika i nauka (Technology and Science), and its branch scientific and technical societies publish 55 journals. The newspaper Trud (Labor), an organ of the VTsSPS, is particularly popular, with a circulation of 8 million. The circulation of single issues of the trade union newspapers and magazines amounts to more than 23 million copies (1975).
Soviet trade unions have at their disposal Profizdat, one of the largest book and magazine publishing houses in the country.
Soviet trade union publications include information on the trade unions’ participation in the management of the national economy, in the drive to reduce waste and improve the quality and reliability of manufactured goods, and in the effort to raise economic indicators in all areas of the developing communist society. The trade union publications raise questions concerning the further development of socialist emulation and the movement for a communist attitude toward labor. They publicize the latest developments in industry and the workers’ efforts to fulfill state plans ahead of schedule and provide concrete examples of the growth of the prosperity of the Soviet people and the organization of their studies, recreation, and medical services. Soviet trade union publications support unity of action of the international trade union movement and popularize the resolutions of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
The press of the progressive trade unions abroad has grown considerably, and its influence on the masses has increased. Among the newspaper organs of trade union centers that are published in the countries of the socialist commonwealth are Trud (Bulgaria), Népszava (Hungary), Tribüne (German Democratic Republic), Lao Dong (Socialist Repubic of Vietnam), Nodong sinmun (People’s Democratic Republic of Korea), Khudulmur (Mongolia), Gios pracy (Poland), Munca (Rumania), and Prace and Praca (Czechoslovakia). In addition to newspapers, many magazine organs of national trade union centers and branch trade unions are published. They popularize the experience of trade union organizations and mobilize the masses of working people for the construction of a new, socialist society.
Many progressive trade union centers and individual trade union associations in the capitalist countries put out their own publications; for example, the General Confederation of Labor of France publishes La Vie ouvrière and Le Peuple, and the All-Italian Confederation of Labor publishes Lavoro. These publications, like the other newspapers and magazines of the progressive trade union centers, deal with the life of the working people and their struggle for peace, national independence, and social progress, with the problems of unity of action of the working class, and with questions of international proletarian solidarity and the trade union movement.
The World Federation of Trade Unions publishes the monthly magazine World Trade Union Movement in ten languages and the weekly bulletin Flashes From the Trade Unions. Other international associations of trade unions, such as the World Confederation of Labor and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, also have their own periodicals.
I. V. CHEKHOV