Union of Unions
Union of Unions
a political organization composed of unions of the liberal bourgeois intelligentsia of Russia. Established during the first Russian revolution (1905–07), the union’s constituent groups were organized as trade unions but were actually political in nature. The Union of Unions, was founded in Moscow in May 1905 at the first congress of representatives of 14 unions. Professional and trade groups represented by the unions included engineers and technicians, agronomists and statisticians, physicians, veterinarians, pharmacists, journalists and writers, railroad administrative workers, clerks and bookkeepers, and teachers. P. N. Miliukov headed the union’s central bureau.
The Union of Unions advocated the abolition of the existing political regime and the transfer of power to the Constituent Assembly, which was to be elected by secret ballot on the basis of direct universal suffrage with equal representation. In spite of objections raised by certain unions, the Union of Unions called for a boycott of the Bulygin Duma and received a favorable response from the First State Duma in this undertaking. Union members participated in mass political strikes. In a number of cases the Union of Unions supported decisions of the soviets of workers’ deputies. It also rendered financial aid to participants of armed uprisings in December 1905.
Serious disagreements arose in the Union of Unions between the radical wing, which supported a revolution to overthrow the autocracy, and the liberal leaders, who favored conciliatory policies. The leadership strove to use the Union of Unions to gain control of the liberation movement and divert it from the path of revolution. The Bolsheviks tried to intensify differences in the union in order to strengthen its radical wing. The sharp class differences within the union and the formation of legal political parties at the height of the revolution caused the Union of Unions to lose its significance. By late 1906 the union was disbanded.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 1, p. 653.)
Erman, L. K. Intelligentsia v pervoi russkoi revoliutsii. Moscow, 1966.