Another 17/01/20 “round up the slackers” how Andropov was forced to work of citizens of the USSR

After two decades of stagnation Brezhnev came to power in 1982 Yuri Andropov became aware that people in the USSR simply did not want to work. The number of absentees reached a critical level, and the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, according to the memoirs of his entourage, was indignant that “thousands of bums wandering around Moscow,” in working time. Along with the attempts of economic reforms, although not as large as with Kosygin, the new government resorted to the familiar to the KGB’s repressive measures.

the problem

In the 1970’s, labor productivity in the USSR has declined steadily. From 1976 to 1980, as shown by the calculations of modern economists, the growth of material production in the country stood at only 1% per year (officially – 4.3%). It was less than at the beginning of Brezhnev’s rule.

long-standing habit of the authorities to watch “blind eye” on violations of labor discipline led to the fact that many have begun to take their job duties very lightly.

the Slowdown in economic growth entailed not only the deterioration of people’s lives, but also technological lag from Western countries, It has represented a threat to the very existence of the Soviet Union, because even military equipment of the potential enemy in the late 1970’s and early to beat the Soviet.
in November 1982, Plenum, Andropov spoke about the need to “accelerate economic development”. One of the most important events of the mobilization scenario was the strengthening of labor discipline. According to Andropov, who knew the real state of Affairs in the country, “the people podrabotka”.

the RAID

In August 1983, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers issued a landmark decree “On strengthening socialist labor discipline”. Earlier was made a few such documents.

Milicacal outfits together with the people’s warriors was started during working hours to track down the truants and “parasites” in Department stores, cafes, other leisure activities, or simply on the street. Looked even in the baths and the Church. In cinemas suddenly interrupted sessions, checking the audience the documents and asked questions – why are they not at work?
meanwhile, citizens was quite rational reasons to leave work – to manage day to buy scarce goods, which are “thrown” on the shelves. In particular, it was typical for the women’s team.

a Massive manhunt also had unintended consequences – “under the hand”, for example, were students missing lessons, so that school principals had to explain myself to law enforcement agencies for their wards.
was conducted Simultaneously “intituleaza” propaganda in the press, which simply had not read it – too devalued the written word in endless repetition formulaic Communist slogans.


the Labor rules in the era of Andropov was significantly tightened the absence from work for more than three hours without a valid reason has been equated with truancy. Lists of those detained during raids persons were transferred to the Directors of enterprises, and already they were deciding what to do with absentees. Punishment, however, was not too “draconian” deprivation of premiums, a reduction of holidays. suggestion by “labour collectives”. Repeated violation of labor discipline was the reason for the dismissal. In addition, there were personnel conclusions in relation to leaders, is unable “to ensure proper labor discipline on the job site”.
Campaign to strengthen discipline, despite all the “kinks”, gave a positive result within one year, the volume of production, according to official data, grew by 6%.

After the death of Andropov, despite the proclamation of the continuity of the course, his successors fromit seemed from the practice of mass detentions of “idlers” is probably due to the fact that the absentees began to stay at home, not risking to appear in public. According to the scientists, “Andropov raids” perpetuate a negative image of the Soviet regime in the eyes of many people that paved the way for Gorbachev’s perestroika.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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