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The Results of Strikes in 1912 as Compared with Those of the Past

V. I. Lenin

The Association of Factory Owners in the Moscow Area has issued statistics on the results of strikes during the last seven months of 1912. These statistics embraced 131,625 workers out of a total of 211,595 who participated (according to the factory owners' figures, undoubtedly reduced) in economic strikes over the whole year of 1912.

We have the figures for the results of strikes in previous years in the official publications of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry covering the decade preceding the revolution (1895–1904) and the three revolutionary years (1905–07).

The data, unfortunately, are not similar weights, and those gathered by the factory owners' association are not so well processed. Official statistics on the results of strikes divide them into three categories: (1) ending to the advantage of the workers, (2) to the advantage of the owners and (3) in a compromise. The statistics of the factory owners divide them into: = (1) ending in the defeat of the workers, (2) the complete or partial satisfaction of the workers and (3) strikes whose results are unspecified.

The two sets of data may be compared (even relatively) only in the following way. The workers taking part in strikes that ended in a compromise or whose results are unspecified, are divided into two equal parts between the strikes won and lost, obtaining as a result only these two headings (approximate, of course). Here are the results of the comparison:

Number of
strikers in
strikes won
For ten years before the revolution ...1895-190442415937.5
Three revolutionary years ...19051,43970548.9
For all ...1911964951.0
For last 7 months of ...19121325541.6

All these figures refer only to economic strikes, and the data for 1911 and 1912, furthermore, are incomplete. The number of workers for the whole of 1912 who took part in economic strikes (212,000) exceeded the number for 1907.

As can be seen, the year 1911 was a record year for the success of economic strikes, even surpassing the most successful revolutionary year of 1906. In 1906 the percentage of strikers who won their strikes was 50.9 per cent and in 1911 it was 51 per cent.

Strikes in 1912 were less successful than they were in 1905 (1905—48.9 per cent won, 1912—41.6 per cent won), but they were more successful than were, on the average, those of the decade 1895-1904 (37.5 per cent), to say nothing of 1907 (29.5 per cent won),

It is interesting to compare these figures with those of Western Europe. In Germany, during the entire first decade of the twentieth century (1900–09) there were 1,897,000 strikers (in Russia the two years of the revolution alone, counting only economic strikes, yielded as many). Of these, 698,000 or 36.8 per cent won their strikes, i.e., somewhat less than in Russia in the decade preceding the revolution. In Britain for the ten years, 1900-09, the number of strikers was 1,884,000. Out of 1,234,000 strikers, 588,000, or 47.5 per cent, won their strikes, i.e., many more than in Russia in the pre-revolutionary decade, but fewer than in 1905 1906 and 1911. (The number of strikers winning their strikes was calculated for Germany and Britain on the same basis as for Russia.)

The number of strikers in Russia who won their strikes in 1905 alone, was greater than the number for ten years in Germany or Britain. One may judge from this how much of the proletariat's latent strength is still untapped.

Published: Pravda No. 133, June 12, 1913. Signed: N..
Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 19, pages 213-215.
Translated: The Late George Hanna

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