Poster Plakat A Collection of Posters from the Soviet Union and its Satellite Nations

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Glavkomtrud and Narkomtrud (Main Labor Committee and Public Commissariat of Labor)

Glavkomtrud (Main Committee for Labor) was established in 1920 during the Russian Civil War to mobilize labor troops to help win the war and rebuild infrastructure. It was divided into provincial branches called Кomtruds (Labor Committees) to carryout the plan. Glavkomtrud and the Komtruds were interdepartmental organizations devised for coordinating mandatory labor conscription. The People’s Commissariat for Labor (Narkomtrud) collected data concerning the number of eligible workers for conscription. Labor mobilization spanned a variety of occupations from mining, metal smelting and shipbuilding, to the textile and food industries. Peasants were also required to mobilize. Additionally, Glavkomtrud reigned-in labor desertion at factories and trade unions.

Sources & Citations

“Militarization of Labor” at Seventeen Moments of Soviet History,
Bunyan, J. (1987). The origin of forced labor in the Soviet State 1917-1921: Documents and materials. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.