Employment, housing and social benefits, 1917-1985

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  • Employment, housing and social benefits, 1917-1985
    • Labour market under Lenin
      • Factories found themselves without enough workers when workers went to the countryside where food was more reliable
        • Government passed a decree saying that people had to take work if it was offered to them
      • There were over one million workers unemployed by 1926 due to peasants drifting into the cities
      • Arteli were groups of workers who worked and were paid as a group
        • similar to collectivised peasant groups (but non-compulsory) in that they pooled resources
    • Industrialisation and full employment
      • The number of hired workers rose from 11.6 million in 1928 to 27 million in 1937
      • factories set excessive targets, forcing factories to use every available source of labour- factories would run 24 hours a day
      • In 1927, a Soviet worker produced half of what a British worker could produce
      • In 1931, the wage gap between skilled and unskilled workers grew so that skilled workers wouldn't go to the countryside
      • the government used honours and medals to motivate workers
      • harsh punishments were introduced for absence in 1931, and in 1939 it was made a criminal offence
      • labour camp inmates rose from less than 1.5 million in 1945 to 2.5 million in 1953
    • Housing
      • In 1917, the Bolsheviks confiscated big houses, partitioned them and rented them to families of workers
      • housing did not receive enough resources comparative to the demand
      • workers had to sleep in huts, tents and even the factories
      • In 1936, only 6% of rented units had more than one room and for 24% it was part of one room
    • Social benefits
      • By the 1930s, cheap food was available in workforce canteens
      • Workers were given two weeks paid holiday
      • A compulsory vaccination programme was implemented in 1921 to deal with a serious cholera outbreak
      • Patients had no choice in health care and all medicines had to be paid for (at a subsidised rate)


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