The Obukhov defense became one of the first clashes in the domestic history between workers and state forces on the basis of political protest. After only five or seven years, such speeches will become commonplace for the public of the Russian Empire. The beginning of the XX century in this respect was extremely intense. During this period, many revolutionary political forces penetrated the factories in St. Petersburg and other large cities of the country, where they expanded their own social base and the number of those sympathetic to their ideas.
Prerequisites for Insurrection
So, at the Obukhov Steel Mill of St. Petersburg revolutionary propaganda was actively conducted by forces of almost two dozen circles of social democratic orientation. Together they covered about two hundred people. In April 1901, the company's management tried to boost production indicators by tightening the working schedule and introducing overtime jobs. This step caused the extreme dissatisfaction of the majority of workers. However, the plant's management did not make the proper conclusions. The latter continued to bend their line. In response to such a policy, representatives of several underground circles on May 1, 1901 declared a political strike. Several hundred workers did not come to work that day. The management of the plant tried to pacify the employees with demonstrative dismissals: on May 5, about seventy instigators lost their place.
The demands of the workers and the beginning of the uprising
In turn, the strikers already on May 7 went to the administration with social demands: first, to cancel the decision on layoffs, and to establish an 8-hour day, designate May 1 as a holiday, create a workers' council at the plant, cancel overtime work , Increase pay, reduce fines and so on.
After the administration refused to meet the requirements, the strikers finally stopped the work of the workshops.
They took to the streets, where they were joined also by workers from the Cardboard Factory and the Alexandrovsky Plant. Soon the squad of the mounted police arrived, but they were showered with a hail of stones. The police opened fire on workers, after which they were forced to hide in the premises of the Cardboard Factory.
Soon representatives of other factories of the capital tried to come to the barricaded strikers. The Obukhov Defense Union formed literally dispersed the police, a total chaos began on the streets of the capital.
The Results of the Uprising
The next few days, both sides held in suspense. However, such large-scale actions were no longer repeated. On May 12, elected deputies from the workers again came to the plant management, repeating their demands. As a result of the negotiations, twelve of the fourteen demands of the workers were fulfilled. The Obukhov defense has borne fruit. The question of granting the date of May 1 the status of the holiday was postponed. And although in general the conflict was resolved, the Obukhov defense continued as local skirmishes throughout the city for another month.