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Today in Labour History

20 October 1930
Planned Economy, poster 1931
Source: BG M3/131

Liquidation of Unemployment

On October 20, 1930, the Central Committee of the CPSU officially announced 'the full liquidation of unemployment in the Soviet Union'. Because of the First Five Year's Plan's reliance on rapid industrialization, unemployment was to be replaced by labour shortage. Not a single kopeck more would be spent on the unemployed. 1.3 million workers were to enter industry in 1931. The CC moved quickly to expand the labour pool. Widows of workers, teenage children, urban housewives, poor peasants were all encouraged to register with the labour exchanges, regardless of their previous work experience. Registration now entitled workers to a job only, not to unemployment compensation. Anyone who 'refused to work' would be struck from the rolls.

From Wendy Z. Goldman, Women at the Gates. Gender and Industry in Stalin's Russia (Cambridge 2002)

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