workers of the factory, providing the decisions of the general meetings
do not conflict with the decisions of the trade union. Apart from organising
trade union work and propaganda, the main task of the factory workshop
committee is the defence of the interest of the workers, and the improvement of their material conditions. The duties of the committee thus
(1) To see that the management of the factory carries out the labour
laws, particularly those referring to the protection of labour, social
insurance, and payment of wages.
(2) To send its representatives on the Commissions fixing the wages,
categories, standards of work, &c.
(3) To endeavour to improve the conditions of labour, housing of
the workers, &e.
(4) To organise clubs, lectures, dramatic societies, to distribute
literature, to help stamp out illiteracy, and to aid in the organisation of
technical schools and courses for the workers, and so on.
On the economic side, the factory committee is no less important.
Although it does not interfere in the actual management of the enterprise,
it, nevertheless, participates in the discussion by the management of all
the most important questions concerning their enterprise ; it also represents
the workers in all discussions with the management, of conditions of
labour, and participates in the hiring and dismissal of workers.
Generally speaking, the factory workshop committee appoints a
number of special sub-committees to deal with such questions as protection
of labour, educational work, and so on. On these committees members
may be co-opted from the general body of the workers of the enterprise.
The committee meets once a week. ,
The number of members of the factory workshop committee elected
is as follows : three members for 50 to 300 workers; five members for
800 to 1,000 workers; seven members for 1,000 to 5,000 workers; nine
members for over 5,000 workers.
The work of the factory workshop committee is encouraged and
protected in every way. In the first place, every factory has special rooms
set aside for the use of the committee, which are warmed and lighted at
the expense of the enterprise. Here visitors to the factory, trade union
organisers or representatives can receive any and every information
regarding the factory and the life and work of the workers employed in
it. Members of the committee are empowered to visit at any time any
department, workshop, &c, of the given enterprise or institution.
Moreover a definite number of workers are given time off with pay
to carry on the work of the committee. Thus in enterprises employing
30 to 50 workers, one person is allowed time off for not more than
two days per week ; in those employing 50 to 300 workers, one person
is permitted to give full time to the work of the committee ; for 300 to
1,000 two persons may devote their whole time, and for 1,000 to 5,000,
not more than five persons are given full time off. The enterprise pays
wages to such members of the committee equal to the average wage of
their category when at work in the ordinary way at the enterprise.
The work of the various commissions appointed by the committee,
as well as the general meetings of the workers, is, however, carried out
voluntarily during the workers' own time, the only exception to this