Universal Labor Conscription

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Universal Labor Conscription


an aggregate of measures passed by the Soviet government in 1918-20 on the compulsory labor conscription of all citizens of the RSFSR who were capable of working.

Universal labor conscription was necessary to crush the sabotage of bourgeois elements and to guarantee a labor force for the national economy, which had been ruined by the war. The introduction of such a universal labor conscription was proclaimed by the Declaration of the Rights of the Toiling Masses and Exploited People (January 1918), and it was implemented beginning in autumn 1918. A decree of the Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) dated Oct. 5, 1918, made it compulsory for the bourgeois elements to engage in labor. The code of labor laws (Dec. 10, 1918) established labor conscription for all citizens of the RSFSR. Decrees adopted by the Sovnarkom on Apr. 12, 1919, and Apr. 27, 1920, prohibited loafing and the unauthorized change to a new job. In accordance with a decree of the Sovnarkom of Jan. 29, 1920, On the System of Universal Labor Conscription, all those capable of working, regardless of their regular jobs, were subject to being called upon to carry out various labor tasks. By this decree the Council of Defense established the Central Committee for Universal Labor Conscription (Glavkomtrud), headed by F. E. Dzerzhinskii. Throughout the country local committees were created to carry out labor conscription (komtrudy). With the introduction of the New Economic Policy the need for universal labor conscription faded.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 35, pp. 156-58, 358-59; vol. 36, pp. 74-75, 182-83, 353; vol. 39, p. 307; vol. 51, pp. 73-74.
Direktivy KPSS i Sovetskogo pravitel’stva po khoziaistvennym voprosam: Sb. dokumentov, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Full browser ?