ATTITUDE OF THE WORKERS TO THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT
A fact that struck the delegation most forcibly during their whole
stay in Russia, was the way in which the workers, both men
and women, looked upon the factories, the shops, the museums
and art treasures, and on the country as a whole, as really
belonging to them. An ordinary rank and file worker whose acquaintance
a delegate may have made at the bench, when visiting the factory, would
often point with pride to the improvements made during the last couple
of years, and to the increase in output; or walking along the street, he or
she would point out a newly repaired or constructed factory, recently built
houses, or a new line of buses or tramways as one of their own hard-won
achievements. The following examples of numerous actual conversations
with workers, illustrate the attitude of the workers better than any mere
description could convey it.
At the Treugolnik Rubber Factory
The Treugolnik Rubber Factory in Leningrad employs 12,500 workers,
before the war it employed 13,000. A number of new departments have
been put into operation recently. Here the following conversations took
place with some of the women workers.
D. : " Did you work here before the war ? "
W.W. : " Yes."
D. : " How do your conditions of work compare with those before the
revolution ? "
W.W. : " They are much better now."
D. : " In what way are they better ? "
W.W. : " Well, we feel free now, we can always meet when we want to,
we can speak to the manager freely if any thing is wrong. We are no longer
afraid of the foremen and forewomen."
D. : " But materially, do you live as well as before ; are your wages
equal to those you earned before the war ? "
W.W. : " No, our wages are lower, but we only work eight hours,
whereas we worked nine, ten, or twelve hours a day before the war."
D. : " Are your wages sufficient for your needs ? "
W.W. : " No, not always."
D. : " What about housing, do you pay as much rent as before the
war ? "
W.W. : " No, the rent is very much lower."
D. : " How long is your summer holiday ? "
W.W. : " We usually get two weeks, some, who need treatment at a
sanatorium get six weeks, or longer if necessary."
D. : " Do you get your wages while on holiday ? "
W.W. : " Yes."
D. : " Are you going to a Rest Home for your holidays ? "
W.W. : " I don't know. It depends on the Medical Commission."
D. : " Would you like to go ? "
W.W. : " Yes, very much. I have never been myself, but my sister
went last year, and she enjoyed herself immensely."