Strike Committee 1991:A meeting of the Kuibyshev Mine's strike committee

Strike Committee 1991:A meeting of the Kuibyshev Mine’s strike committee

In 1991, the second all-union miners’ strike occurred in a crumbling Soviet Union. The first miners’ strike had occurred two years earlier in 1989 (Miners’ Strike of 1991). Like the first strike, the second one lasted around two months (Miners’ Strike of 1991). However, unlike the first strike, the leaders of the 1991 strike decided to reach out for non-union support (Miners’ Strike of 1991). The 1991 strike leaders decided to team up with Gorbachev’s rival, Boris Eltsin (Miners’ Strike of 1991). The strikers called for Gorbachev to resign and basically begged for repression of their strike. Although the 1991 strike called for larger changes, it garnered little support from individual mines (Miners’ Strike of 1991).

The 1991 strike is seen as one of the final nails in the Soviet Union’s coffin. It outright disagreed with the current government as well as brought into question whether or not the government could legally do anything about it. In an article published in the Current Digest of the Soviet Press, the author questions whether or not the strike is illegal (Nikitinsky). A spokesman for the Soviet Union’s prosecutors office claimed that a strike like the 1991 strike is illegal based on previous court rulings (Nikitinsky). However, the rulings were not based on an actual law that was on the books (Nikitinsky). Therefore, many strikers were afraid that there would be a push to make strikes like the one they were participating in illegal (Nikitinsky). Although the strike ended two months after it began, the 1991 strike set a precedent in the Soviet Union: it was not ended in repression and it sparked many other strikes across the land.

Miners’ Strike of 1991:

“The Strike Committee is Tough, But it is a Strike Committee” by Leonid Nikitinsky: