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Today in Labour History

17 October 1905
Ilya Repin, Demonstration 17 October 1905
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Strike Epidemic

Russia's 1905 Revolution was also a strike epidemic. In unprecendented numbers, workers in all sectors of the economy walked off their jobs, demanding better wages and living conditions and greater respect from their employers. The strike wave culminated in a General Strike when an alliance of blue- and white-collarworkers shut down government and commercial operations, forcing major political concessions from the government. 

On 17 October the St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers Deputies was founded as alternative government. Similar Soviets were soon created in other cities. The Petersburg Soviet ended the general strike on October 21.  

Read more in: A Dream Deferred. New Studies in Russian and Soviet Labour History (Bern 2008)

More info: A Dream Deferred (Publication)