V. I.Lenin

The Working Day in the Factories of Moscow Gubernia

Published: Pravda No. 88, August 11, 1912. Signed: V.. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 260-261.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

I. M. Kozminykh-Lanin, an engineer, has published a book on the length of the working day and working year in the factories of Moscow Gubernia.

The data collected by the author relate to the end of 1908 and cover 219,869 workers, or a little over seven-tenths of the total number of factory workers in Moscow Gubernia (307,773).

On the basis of these data, the author finds the average working day to be 9 \frac12 hours for adults and juveniles and 7\frac12 hours for those under age.

It should be noted that these data do not include overtime work (the author has prepared for the press a special book on overtime work) and, secondly, that the author’s data are based solely on “obligatory regulations for employers and workers”.

Whether these regulations are actually adhered to is a question our engineer does not raise. Only workers’ unions, by compiling their own statistics, could collect data on this question as well.

This 9 \frac12-hour day varies greatly from one establishment to another.

The author’s tables show that 33,466 workers work over 10 hours a day! This covers more than 15 per cent of the total number of workers surveyed.

There are 13,189 workers who work over 11 hours a day, and 75 workers who work over 12 hours a day. The bulk of the workers crushed by this excessively long working day belongs to the textile industry.

If it is taken into account that approximately one-third of the workers are not included in the author’s survey, the   conclusion can be drawn that the working day of more than 20,000 factory workers in Moscow Gubernia is monstrously long.

Lastly, Kozminykh-Lanin’s data show that even the extremely obsolete Russian law of 1897, which permits an 11\frac12-hour (!!!) day, is not observed by the factory owners. Under that law, when working in two shifts, no worker may work more than 9 hours a day, calculated over a fortnight.

In reality, however, out of the 83,990 two-shift workers surveyed by the author, 14,376 worked over 9 hours. This comprises 17 per cent of the total number of those working in two shifts. And of the 3,733 two-shift workers engaged in repair and auxiliary jobs, 2,173, or nearly three-fifths, worked over 9 hours a day! A total of 16,500 workers who are compelled—even according to official data—to work longer than allowed by the law!

An eight-hour day existed in Moscow Gubernia in 1908 only for 4,398 workers—out of the 219,669 surveyed. This means that an eight-hour day is perfectly feasible even today; it is only necessary for 215,000 workers to overtake those 4,000.

Notes

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