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Genesis: Historical research
Reference:

Experience of Material Incentives for Workers of Military Factories in the Early Years of the NEP (on the Example of the Tula Cartridge Factory)

Volodin Sergei Filippovich

PhD in History

Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, L. N. Tolstoy Tula State Pedagogical University

Ryazanskaya ulitsa 32/3, Tula, Tulskaya oblast' 300012 Russia

volodin93@yandex.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-868X.2022.11.39164

EDN:

BDQWAP

Received:

10-11-2022


Published:

17-11-2022


Abstract: Based on the methodology of the activity approach, the article examines the processes of material incentives for workers in the early years of the NEP. It deals in detail with the issues of material incentives for workers in the conditions of the NEP economy on the example of a large industrial enterprise - the Tula Cartridge Factory. How did the gradual tightening of rationing took place at this time? How did this process affected different groups of workers? What practices at the workshop level were used to regulate earnings? The purpose of the article is to clarify these and other interrelated issues affecting the stimulation of labor. In his research, the author proceeded from the principle of historicism and the methodology of the activity approach, according to which attention is focused on the practical activities of people, the mechanisms of their interaction. The scientific novelty of the study is determined by the fact that it comprehensively highlights the process of organizing financial incentives for employees at a large military enterprise in the early period of the NEP, which is of particular relevance in the context of modern challenges. In the initial period of the NEP, the Tula Cartridge Factory underwent a general improvement of production processes. An important part of this work was to restore the effectiveness of material incentives in relation to labor productivity, primarily by increasing production standards. As it appears on the example of the TPZ, within the historical context of the early NEP, a relatively acceptable level of material incentives for industrial labor was achieved in Soviet industry.


Keywords:

military production, wages, financial incentives, motivation of work, rationing, nep, cartridge production, labor productivity, Tula Cartridge Factory, labor efficiency

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

During the transition to the NEP with its economic calculation, the system of remuneration of labor inevitably changed. Wages now had to be closely related to labor productivity. According to article 56 of the Labor Code of 1922, which replaced the Labor Code of 1918, production standards should be determined by the administration together with trade unions. And any disputes arising in connection with these collective agreements had to be resolved by way of conciliation proceedings - in the pricing and conflict commissions, conciliation chambers and arbitration courts organized on the basis of parity representation of the parties. Meanwhile, contemporary economists noted that in the initial period of the NEP, for objective reasons, there was a trend of outstripping wage growth in comparison with the dynamics of labor productivity. The latter increased in three operational years (from 1921/1922 to 1923/1924) by only 32.4% with a 71% increase in wages [2, p. 80]. According to economists, initially it was necessary to restore the energy balance of the employee, and then on this basis to ensure the growth of his productivity. However, there were significant obstacles along the way. In particular, it was necessary to remove excess labor from enterprises, remove dependents from the supply, and reduce overhead costs. On the other hand, it was necessary to restore the outstripping growth of labor productivity based on the use of the labor rationing mechanism. How was the material stimulation of workers organized in practice in the first half of the twenties of the XX century? The answer to this general question, as the author hopes, is to some extent served by the material of the proposed article.

The object of the study is the processes of labor efficiency management at the Tula Cartridge Factory in the early period of the NEP. It deals in detail with the issues of material incentives for workers in the conditions of the approval of the NEP economy on the example of a large industrial enterprise. How did the gradual tightening of rationing take place at this time? How did this process affect different groups of workers? What practices at the workshop level were used to regulate earnings? The purpose of the article is to clarify these and other interrelated issues affecting the stimulation of labor. The scientific novelty of the study is determined by the fact that it comprehensively highlights the process of organizing financial incentives for employees at a large military enterprise in the early period of the NEP, which is of particular relevance in the context of modern challenges. In his research, the author proceeded from the principle of historicism and the methodology of the activity approach, according to which attention is focused on the practical activities of people, the mechanisms of their interaction.

The source base of the article consisted mainly of the materials of the fund of the State Institution "State Archive of the Tula region" (GU GATO) R324 "Organization of p/I No. 43 of the Tula economic District" (Tula Cartridge Factory). Of particular interest to us were such sources as correspondence of the plant's directorate with the Cartridge Sub-Department of the Central Directorate of Artillery Factories (CPAZ), texts of collective agreements, minutes of the meeting of the secretariat of the Tula District Department of the All-Russian Union of Metalworkers (VSRM), minutes of the meeting of the Tariff and Economic Secretariat of the Tula district branch of the VSRM. A number of important information related to the subject of the study were gleaned from the fund P-1 of the GU GATO "Tula Provincial Committee of the RCP (b)". Valuable facts about the life of the plant at the specified time are also reflected in the published collections "Soviet military-industrial production 1918-1926". ""Top Secret": Lubyanka to Stalin on the situation in the country (1922-1934), vol. 1, 1922-1923, part 2", as well as in the annual report of the Tula District Committee of the All-Russian Union of Metalworkers [18; 21; 22].

When referring to the historiography of the issue, it should be noted that the problems of material incentives during the NEP years were in the focus of attention of labor economists of the 1920s. Based on statistical data, they were able to show many facets and contradictions in the situation with material incentives for labor in the NEP economy [1]. In the thirties and fifties of the last century, although historical works devoted to the NEP issues were already published, their content shifted towards the restoration processes of the material base of production based on the political mobilization of workers. They talked about wage problems in the most general way [3]. For example, P. I. Lyashenko emphasized that by 1924/25 the wages of workers had increased significantly, but "the dual nature of payment was still preserved and in-kind distribution prevailed" [16, p. 47]. During the years of the "thaw", interest in the NEP economy has grown significantly. In particular, P. N. Sharova considered the process of wage growth during this period as an integral part of a more general mechanism of cost inflation [25]. Domestic economists also showed increased attention to this subject of research. S. M. Milyukov and K. H. Kuznetsova emphasized that in the rationing work at that time there was a strenuous search for the most adequate ways to determine the norms. The higher rationing bodies sought to determine the norms on the basis of element-by-element accounting with a focus on the achievements of advanced workers. On the other hand, "standards continued to be set in workshops, based on the experience of the master, "by eye"" [17, p. 253]. In turn, A. P. Stepanov and E. I. Kapustin drew attention to the fact that the tariff reform in 1921-1922 had a number of flaws. This is the lack of proper payment for workers in crucial sectors of the national economy, the still insignificant ratio of tariff rates of extreme categories, the artificiality of a considerable part of the extra work, etc. [23]

Interest in the named subject of research did not fade in the era following the "thaw". So, in 1971, a historical essay by P. F. Petrochenko and K. H. Kuznetsova was published, dedicated to the organization and rationing of labor in the USSR industry. In it, they seriously deepened the conceptual understanding of the problem, considering it as an important struggle for a measure of the intensity of industrial labor. After all, already in the first collective agreement with GOMZA in June 1922, the trade union ensured that normal working conditions corresponded to the most technically possible standards and one and a half tariff rates were guaranteed for work under such standards [19, p. 35]. In turn, modern Russian historiography, after an understandable "perestroika" interest in the "alternatives" and "crises" of the NEP, inevitably focused its attention on the socio-economic processes of this controversial period. A considerable amount of work also concerned the issues of material incentives for workers. In particular, E. I. Safonova noted that with the advent of the tariff grid in 1922, the practice of percentage allowances for unaccounted-for working hours, for the severity of conditions, etc. was immediately established. As a result, the add-ons to the tariff rates have reached huge sizes. And this practice, she rightly believed, served an objective need the promotion of the most qualified labor [20]. As shown by A.A. Ilyukhova, up to the beginning of 1922, the share of in-kind disbursements in the total amount of wages continued to grow. Only by the summerautumn of 1923, the natural part of wages fell to 9%, whereas at the beginning of 1922/23 it reached 50% [15, pp. 70-71]. Gradually, we had to switch from centralized payment based on salaries to decentralized payment based on collective agreements. In addition, the scale of the tariff grid sought to recreate the eight-fold pre-revolutionary ratio [15, pp. 74-75]. And if at first the wage increase was mechanical in nature, was a measure to save the class, then the government begins to worry about the growth of the share of wages in the total cost of production. If in the period from October 1922 to March 1923 this share was 11.2%, then in OctoberMarch 1924 it was 14.4% [15, p. 158]. Thus, Russian historiography has a certain tradition in studying the processes of material stimulation of industrial workers during the NEP years. At the same time, not all the subject aspects of these processes have been adequately investigated, including from the position of close attention to the structural context and latent mechanisms of managerial relations, i.e. everyday practices at the level of shop routine. In this regard, an empirical study of the processes of material incentives on the example of the Tula Cartridge Factory allows us to clarify these social aspects of labor relations in the years of early NEP.

On the eve of the NEP, in February 1921, the plant, numbering 9824 workers, was supposed to produce 21 million rifle cartridges under the program. However, already in June, the factory program was reduced to 12 million, which was an inevitable consequence of the negative processes that emerged [8, L. 54, 73]. There were massive layoffs at the plant, during which almost 2,000 employees were counted. In fact, in JulyAugust, the plant did not function. As a result, on the first of September 1921, only 7,195 workers remained in the TPZ. However, the reduction of personnel was not proportional. Skilled workers were less likely to leave the factory, since their production potential was relatively more valuable as a specific type of professional activity. Therefore, the share of skilled workers in the factory team has increased slightly from 5.15% to 6.85% [12, L. 125, 126].

A new stage of the plant's life dates back to September 1921. A distinctive feature of this period was the slow restoration of the multifaceted production processes of factory life. The factory began distributing manufactory, which had not been issued for a long time before, in particular leather shoes. The same workers who were engaged in hot jobs received felt shoes by the beginning of winter. By this time, the factory had already changed for the better the principles of remuneration within the framework of the so-called collective supply introduced in October 1921. The main feature of this form of incentive was that both monetary and in-kind remuneration funds were distributed exclusively in accordance with the productivity and degree of qualification of the employee, as well as the number of days worked. Personal supply by cards, lists, etc., as well as in-kind bonuses for employees of enterprises and family members who are dependent on them, were canceled. However, the worker's food ration became more substantial. If we talk only about bread, he gave an averageskilled worker 78 pounds of bread, while the Red Army - only 30 pounds [6, l. 145].

It is characteristic that the plant's management initially tried to challenge the current procedure for calculating the natural and monetary funds of the enterprise in the direction of their reduction for the period SeptemberFebruary 1921/22, since the Brass Plant, the figures of the workforce and productivity of the plant for 1916, the production of cannon casings and machine gun blocks were not taken into account. Moreover, the leadership proceeded from the need to preserve transitional measures in the policy of material incentives, challenging the very ideology of the new position of the Center. As stated by the board of the TPZ, the new rules favored family-free workers (3988 people), among whom about 80% belonged to the lower classes, mainly from the village. In turn, the new rules worsened the situation of 692 workers out of 1526 workers of high grades (from 5th grade and above) [7, L. 278]. The reasoning of the plant's management is clear. As the flagship of the military-communist economy, the TPZ received relative privileges in the line of distribution supply. Therefore, the staff of the plant as a whole was in no hurry to lose these privileges, and the management of the plant reflected this mood. The classic formula sounded when resisting innovations: the time has not yet come for the introduction of "pure principles" of remuneration. In order to soften the strict rules, the plant management initiated partial compensation of losses to workers from the collective supply fund through the workers' cooperative. Attempts to restore equalization in the supply of family members, employees of institutions serving the plant, as well as workers seconded from the plant to other organizations have not stopped [6, L. 146, 155 (ob)].

However, obviously, the Center did not have full-fledged funds to support the industry of the Soviet Republic. Therefore, in October 1921, the plant was actually issued not the requested 34,891, but 16,667 food rations [6, l. 132 (ob)]. The Center insisted on the execution of the strategic line: only labor incentives of material interest had to act. And real practice soon enough began to testify to the effectiveness of the new principles of financial incentives. In November 1921, almost all the key workshops exceeded the planned tasks, and the productivity of workers noticeably approached the level of 1916. Moreover, the individual output in the pulp workshop even equaled this level. On the other hand, it was clear that it was impossible to return to the situation of 1916 with respect to individual productivity at the factory-wide level at the current time. After all, during the period of war communism, the administrative and economic part of the TPZ "swelled to an unprecedented size" and by the beginning of the NEP reached 25% of the number of workers, whereas in 1916 it was only 2.5%. The plant contained "state farms, collective farms, kindergartens, nurseries, cooperatives and a number of other bodies", therefore, as noted in the document, "there was nothing to think about" achieving many parameters of 1916 [6, l. 143 (ob) 144 (ob)]. The cost of working time in the production of the same volume of products in the TPZ increased by 1.8 times in 1921 compared to the level of 1913, when 76.5% of the total volume of production of the pre-war period was reached [13, L. 34].

Of course, cartridge production at this time continued to suffer from the effects of other extremely unfavorable factors. The acute shortage of basic and auxiliary materials, experts pointed out, acted as an imperceptible rust that destroys the plant's body. In December 1921, the outfitting workshop, for example, had to stop its work due to the lack of gunpowder. In general, the shortage of materials undermined the motivation of workers, as they simply could not work out standards due to frequent machine stops, transitions to other equipment [12, l. 126 (ob)]. In addition, the disorganization of the country's finances due to hyperinflation also adversely affected the life of the plant. And yet, despite the difficulties with the supply, the improvement of the plant continued. Although it should be noted here that this recovery itself had two sides. In a broad sense, it meant the restoration and normalization of production processes, and in a narrow sense the restoration and renewal of factory equipment. The fact is that by the beginning of the NEP, the head of the GUVP P. A. Bogdanov noted, the equipment of Russian military factories "had worn out and had become significantly upset." And first of all, this concerned the Tula factories: the armory and cartridge factories, which "endured the hardest work" during the years of the Civil War. The share of faulty machines here could reach up to seventy percent or more in individual workshops, which turned into inaccuracy of work, which is extremely important in weapons production. In Tula military factories, there was an extreme crowding of equipment, and, consequently, unacceptable, from the point of view of labor protection, crowding. The factory economy has worn out, the qualifications of engineers and workers have decreased. "Working discipline was in a state of deep decay" [22, pp. 457-458].

Meanwhile, at the end of 1921, intensive work was carried out on labor rationing, a practice was initiated for the decisive destruction of "child labor standards", so that "a lot of recycling would no longer work." This goal was facilitated by the systematic collection of materials on the implementation of standards and their adjustment in case of large-scale rework. Moreover, this was done even in the tool workshop, where there were more than 3,000 transitions. As follows from the data on the size of overwork in 1922, their level was lower in production workshops. For example, in the sleeve workshop, their average monthly value was only 7.3%, while in the maintenance tool workshop this level was 14.6%. The construction department and the economic part of the plant processed much more (up to 40% and above), but such figures were explained both by the norms of the term position and the lack of sufficient statistical material [12, L. 109, 114].

The mechanism of public law regulation in the field of labor rationing through the conclusion of collective agreements, which began to operate from the beginning of the NEP, reflected a significant change in the content of this activity. Now, unlike the practice of the previous time, the positions of the parties to labor relations have acquired greater clarity and certainty. Both the plant management and the workers' representatives sought to come to a mutually acceptable compromise, taking into account, on the one hand, the changed balance of forces in favor of the employer, and on the other hand, the preservation of the workers' rights won. Thus, according to the collective agreement concluded between the board of the TPZ and the Tula regional branch of the VSR on November 15, 1922, data on factory labor productivity of 1913-1916, adjusted for "normal working conditions", were to be taken as the basis for rationing. It was about the serviceable condition of the equipment, timely supply of materials, satisfactory sanitary and technical working conditions. The interests of the workers were also to be served by such provisions as the need to revise the standards downwards if they were not systematically fulfilled within two months, the establishment of guarantees of payment of wages of at least 2/3 of the tariff rate for workers who did not meet the production standards. At the same time, systematic non-compliance with the norm could serve as a reason for the transfer of a worker to a lower category or to dismissal. On the other hand, the worker was guaranteed payment for marriage "without any deliberate purpose" in the amount of half of the tariff rate and its full payment for downtime. And although the collective agreement confirmed the universally established "normal" wage ratio between the lowest and highest working qualifications as one to three, the possibility, established in real practice, on the part of the management, of increasing the legal minimum tariff rate "in the interests of production", which was also to be served mainly by the piecework form of remuneration [10, L. 85-87].

It is impossible not to mention here the implementation of a centralized practice, enshrined in collective agreements, on guaranteed earnings for the implementation of norms. This provision in the TPZ became effective after the conclusion of an industry collective agreement for October-December 1922 between the GUVP and the VSM, which contained a provision on the payment of guaranteed earnings when they were expected to approach the technically possible. In the autumn of 1923, the Tula district branch of the VSMR recognized it correct to consider as such the average output for the last three months (December, January, February), achieving 50% earnings with unlimited piecework [18, p. 97]. In addition, the TNB of the plant had to establish a number of standards for new developments in the cannon and peaceful industries. At the same time, the tariff of employees was clarified in accordance with the new 17digit tariff grid and, as everywhere in the country's industry, the current indexation of earnings was carried out in accordance with changes in market prices for necessary items.

As a result, the plant has significantly increased labor productivity. In 1922, the productivity of the machine per shift in the cutting workshop was 30.68 pood. cartridge rifle caps compared to 26.4 pood. for 1921 (1913 32.4 pud.). If at the first extraction of the pulp workshop the average output from the machine in 1921 was 6.43 pud., then in 1922 7.27 pud. (1913 8.0 pud.). In 1921, the average output of a worker in the sleeve and bullet workshops was 335 and 764.4 pud for each of them; in 1922, respectively, 403.3 and 1253.7 pud. In 1921, one chamber loaded 164.8 rounds, in 1922 197.3 pieces (1916 198 pieces) [12, L. 78, 79 (ob), 81, 83]. It should be taken into account that with an increase in labor productivity, the average level of compliance with the norms by workers of the TPZ was only 98-100%, i.e. the norms were tense. In order to fulfill them, it was necessary to ensure productivity growth, which happened. If an employee in the production departments of the plant in 1921 produced 115.7 units of accounting units, then in 1922 142.4, and counting all employees, 64.1 units in 1921 and 79.5 units in 1922, 15.5 days of labor were spent on the production of 1000 units of production in 1921, 12.5 in 1922. Therefore, the management of TPZ believed that the plant had entered "a firm and correct economic path" [12, l. 91-92].

Contradictory trends have emerged in wages. In 1919, workers' earnings fell sharply and amounted to 14.9 kopecks, and in 1920 even less the workers received 11.7 kopecks of the commodity ruble. The turning point occurred in October 1921, when workers' earnings rose sharply to 67.9 kopecks. True, the peak value was primarily explained by the extraordinary issuance of rations and clothing, because earnings were calculated taking into account the monetary assessment of the amount of in-kind remuneration. Then, in line with the abolition of collective supply, daily earnings stabilized at the level of 30-40 kopecks. commodity ruble. If, for example, the product part of earnings from October 1921 to June 1922 was more than 80%, starting from September it no longer exceeded 20% [12, l. 107]. Objectively, this reduced the amount of earnings, which, according to management, had a negative impact on labor productivity. Here it is necessary to point out another characteristic phenomenon of this time, the delay in the payment of wages. The fact is that the Center delayed the supply of money to the plant in accordance with all the planned appropriations, fulfilling first of all its wage obligations. In turn, the management of the plant, based on "economic needs", drew sums for their satisfaction from the payroll. It should be added to this that the depreciation of the ruble up to 80% during 1922 necessitated the monthly recalculation of tariff grids, calculations for products [12, L. 69].

In TPZ, as in other enterprises, the practice of "breaking the tariff" began to be approved. On the one hand, the collective agreement confirmed the universally established "normal" wage ratio between the lowest and highest working qualifications as one to three. On the other hand, the possibility, established in real life, was allowed by the management to increase the minimum tariff rate "in the interests of production", which was also mainly to be served by the piecework form of remuneration [10, l. 85-87]. In the metal industry, there was even a kind of revenge of skilled labor in relation to wages. Already in 1922, the Central Committee of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR developed a new tariff grid, establishing the ratio between 1-9 digits as 1:3.3 instead of 1:3. Moreover, the change affected the high ranks, starting from the seventh. In turn, a new grid in the military industry was introduced under a collective agreement concluded on January 1, 1923. And the line here was taken not to raise rates, but to increase piecework rates by way of a percentage surcharge on the rate for the fulfillment of the so-called "maximum technically possible norms". The percentage premium by category was distributed as follows:

1-3 digits

20 %

4-5 -"-

35 %

6 -"-

45 %

7-8 -"-

60 %

9 -"-

75 %

At the same time, if the wage coefficient at the rate of a worker of the 9th category was equal to 3.3 of the rate of the first category, then with guaranteed earnings 5.78 of the initial rate. As can be seen, the established guaranteed earnings for the fulfillment of the maximum standards further encouraged skilled labor. If the wage coefficient at the rate of a worker of the 9th category was equal to 3.3 of the rate of the first category, then with guaranteed earnings 5.78 of the initial rate [18, pp. 101-102]. Moreover, a qualified employee, when switching from a piecework to a more responsible position of an installer, a shop foreman, lost in earnings. For example, a pieceworker of the 9th category could earn 4.8 percent of the first-class rate when processing at 60%, while when transferring him to the position of a shop foreman paid at the eleventh level, he could receive only 3.4 percent and thus lost 29.8% of earnings [18, p. 100].

At the workshop level, other empirical nuances were found in the remuneration of labor. Women, according to the collective agreement, had to receive the same salary for the same work. However, the chairman of the TNB TPZ actually recognized when considering the collective agreement for NovemberDecember 1922 that earnings should be a way to bring the earnings of male workers to a socially acceptable level through the encouragement of "male" collectives, since "there is a murmur that a man standing in the 4th category receives less than a woman..." [10, L. 65]. And here it is important to take into account that in accordance with the collective agreement concluded for NovemberDecember 1922, piece rates were determined taking into account both the tariff rate of this type of work and the percentage of earnings for this category (large for higher categories). Thus, during machine-tool work in the pulleys workshop, the earnings to be paid for the developed rate varied depending on the type of machine tools from 25.0 to 53.1% (October 1923) [13, l. 142 (vol)]. In turn, processing, for example, for workers at exhaust works in a sleeve workshop reached 24% (December 1923) [9, L. 10]. At the same time, it was assumed that the piecework payment should not have changed depending on the tariff category of the employee. However, since the wage fund was limited, the opportunities for earnings growth in the operational mode were corrected through labor rationing. It is characteristic that in the January 1923 state financial reports it was said that at the Tula cartridge factory "there is partial dissatisfaction with the high production rate among the workers" and that "Among highly skilled workers there is dissatisfaction with the insufficiency of tariff rates, in connection with which they tend to move to other enterprises" [21, pp. 590, 648]. In February, "there were cases of acute dissatisfaction with the norms and wages of some groups of workers," in particular among the turners of the first mechanical and piece-work tool workshops [12, l. 136 (ob)]. In October 1923, the discontent of the workers of the gun workshop was caused by the practice of deliberately underestimating the prices for work in comparison with the rationing of work on the same categories for mechanics of the mechanical workshop: "approximately, if the item can be done within 5 hours and on the 7th category, and the Technormbureau puts it at 2 hours and 5-mu category"[11, l. 46]. In general, according to Table 1, workers managed to defend their interests, primarily in terms of earnings, despite pressure from the TNB.

Table 1.

Indicators of the intensity and remuneration of female workers of the TPZ in February 1923 and February 1924 .

February 1923

February 1924

Norm/vyrab.

(in pud)

Wednesday at a time.

(in commodity rubles)

Norm/vyrab.

(in pud.)

Wednesday at a time.

(in commodity rubles)

Workers on the Karlsruhe equipment machine

36 / 37,4

9,44

35,76 / 36,6

13,39

Female workers on the Odner equipment machine

35 / 40,95

9,86

36,5 / 37,23

11,36

Female workers on the camera machines

32 / 33,69

9,93

34 / 34,88

12,06

Calculated by the author according to: [13, L. 136].

At the same time, the growth of earnings affected the cost of production. It should be noted that low-level groups of female workers engaged in machine work began to receive 50% more than before the war. And if the total average earnings of cartridge workshops in 1913 was 85-90 kopecks, then in the first quarter of 1924/25 1 p.23 K.1 p. 27 K. per day according to the pre-war index. As a result, the cost of producing a thousand wintpatrons began to cost the plant 17 p. 70.64 kopecks against 12 p.68,42 kopecks in 1913. In addition, in addition to labor costs, the plant began to incur costs in relation to social insurance costs, which did not exist in the pre-war period [14, l. 103]. On the other hand, in the cost of cartridge products, the share of wages in the cost of production did not grow. If in October-December 1922 it was 10.12%, then in April-June 1923 it was 9.39%. It was the cost of materials (49.21% and 55.14%, respectively) and overhead costs (38.07% and 33.59%, respectively) that were the main components of the plant's production cost [18, p. 9].

It should be added that the predominant mass of factory workers as of the beginning of 1924 had 3-5 categories, and most of the women (75% of the number of women) were in the 3rd category (as shown in the table of machine workers). Most of the men were in the fifth category about 25% of the total number of men, a slightly smaller number (about 21%) in the 4th category and even less (about 18%) in the third category. A large proportion of workers below average qualifications was explained by their predominance in metallurgical workshops foundry, rolling, where the fourth and fifth categories prevailed in gross work. In addition, a relatively large number of lowskilled men were employed by economic departments - plant security, economic part, supply department, etc. The main mass from the sixth to the ninth categories (about 1000 people, i.e. about 26% of the total mass of men) was concentrated in the tool, technical, mechanical workshops engaged in the maintenance of production workshops. This also included workers of the leading professions in metallurgical workshops miners, rollers, annealers, etc. [4, l. 36]. They were the main force in defending the material interests of the working masses. For example, the Tariff and Economic Secretariat of the Tula regional branch of the VSM assumed at the conclusion of a new collective agreement for 1924/25 households. We should proceed from the fact that for piecework workers at maximum norms, we should introduce calculated coefficients of earnings in favor of these groups [5, l. 88]. If skilled workers believed that their earnings did not correspond to an acceptable level for them, they left their jobs.

Thus, in the initial period of the NEP in the Tula cartridge factory there was a general improvement of production processes. An important part of this work was to restore the effectiveness of material incentives in relation to labor productivity, primarily by increasing production standards. The share of piecework increased, and the fulfillment of norms was encouraged by a bonus "earnings" up to 50% and higher to piecework rates. The very definition of the measure of labor intensity was the result of complex interactions between the administration and the HRM bodies at different levels. Due to the necessity of production, the earnings of workers were regulated in favor of skilled workers. Nevertheless, on the example of TPZ, a significant increase in the low-level wage fund can be traced in comparison with the pre-revolutionary time. By unofficial practices, the company's management could only partially restore the award to workers of the highest ranks for qualifications that existed at the level of custom. Thus, as the leading economist of Gosplan S. G. Strumilin rightly noted, the "socialist" nature of the wage category was preserved in the conditions of the NEP economy. After all, large accruals on wages were used in it in accordance with the needs of the entire proletariat, and not with the measure of the amount of labor individually expended [16, p. 47]. In general, as it seems from the example of the TPZ, within the historical context of the early NEP, a relatively acceptable level of material incentives for industrial labor was achieved in Soviet industry.

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REVIEW of the article The experience of material incentives for workers of military factories in the early years of the NEP (on the example of the Tula cartridge factory) The title corresponds to the content of the materials of the article. The title of the article conditionally looks at the scientific problem, which the author's research is aimed at solving. The reviewed article is of scientific interest. The author explained the choice of the research topic and pointed out its relevance. The article incorrectly formulated the purpose of the study (in the text: "How was the financial stimulation of workers organized in practice in the first half of the twenties of the XX century? The answer to this general question, as the author hopes, is to some extent served by the material of the proposed article"), the object is indicated, the subject of the study is indicated, but the methods used by the author are not described. In the opinion of the reviewer, the main elements of the "program" of the study can be seen in the title and text of the article. The author presented the results of the analysis of the historiography of the problem and formulated the novelty of the undertaken research. In presenting the material, the author selectively demonstrated the results of the analysis of the historiography of the problem in the form of links to relevant works on the research topic. There is no appeal to opponents in the article. The author explained the choice and described the range of sources involved in the disclosure of the topic. The author did not explain or justify the choice of chronological and geographical scope of the study. In the opinion of the reviewer, the author correctly used the sources, maintained the scientific style of presentation, competently used the methods of scientific knowledge, followed the principles of logic, systematicity and consistency of presentation of the material. As an introduction, the author pointed out the reason for choosing the research topic, outlined its relevance, described in detail the results of the analysis of the historiography of the problem, reasonably concluding that "domestic historiography has a certain tradition in studying the processes of material stimulation of industrial workers during the NEP years," etc. In the main part of the article, the author explained that the reduction in the production of rifle cartridges at the Tula plant in June 1921 to 12 million was "an inevitable consequence of the negative processes that had emerged," etc., why "a new stage in the life of the plant dates back to September 1921": "a distinctive feature of this period was the slow restoration of the multifaceted production processes of factory life" The author reported that "the management of the plant initially tried to challenge the current procedure for calculating the natural and monetary funds of the enterprise in the direction of their reduction for the period SeptemberFebruary 1921/22," etc., and that "the plant management initiated partial compensation for losses to workers from the collective supply fund through the workers' cooperative," etc. The author clearly described "other extremely unfavorable factors", which influenced cartridge production. Further, the author substantiated the idea that the introduction of collective agreements had a positive effect on labor productivity (in the text: "the mechanism of public law regulation in the field of labor rationing through collective agreements, which began to operate from the beginning of the NEP, reflected a significant change in the content of this activity"), etc., proved that "the plant has significantly increased in labor productivity." The author devoted the following story to the "contradictory trends in wages" of workers at the Tula plant, offered the reader a table "Indicators of the intensity and remuneration of workers at the TPZ in February 1923 and February 1924" and commented in detail on the information presented in it. and that there are errors in the article, such as: "NEP", "NEP"? The author's conclusions are generalizing, justified, and formulated clearly. The conclusions allow us to evaluate the scientific achievements of the author within the framework of his research. The conclusions reflect the results of the research conducted by the author in full. In the final paragraph of the article, the author reported that "in the initial period of the NEP, the Tula Cartridge Factory underwent a general improvement of production processes," that "an important part of this work was the restoration of the effectiveness of material incentives in terms of labor productivity, primarily by increasing production standards," etc., that "due to the production necessity, workers' earnings they were regulated in favor of skilled workers," but "there is a significant increase in the wage fund" and workers of "low categories in comparison with pre-revolutionary times." The author, based on the experience of the Tula Plant he studied, summarized that "within the historical context of the early NEP, a relatively acceptable level of material incentives for industrial labor was achieved in Soviet industry." In the reviewer's opinion, the potential purpose of the study has been achieved by the author. The publication may arouse the interest of the magazine's audience. In the reviewer's opinion, the article would have become more convenient for the reader if the author had formulated the main elements of his research program more precisely at the beginning and compared the conclusions he had outlined with it.
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