EXTRACTS FROM A RESOLUTION ON THE ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
OF COMMUNIST FRACTIONS IN TRADE UNIONS PASSED BY THE
SECOND ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE AND ENDORSED BY THE SIXTH ECCI PLENUM
11 March 1926 Inprekorr, vi, 65, p. 986, 29 April 1926
The following instructions embody the principles on which the structure of communist fractions should be based. The varied structure of trade unions and the varying levels of development of communist parties make it necessary for the CI sections to determine their own methods by adapting these instructions to the particular conditions of their countries.
THE ROLE OF FRACTIONS
Communist members of a trade union and of its organizations (executive, conference, congress, etc.) are obliged to unite in a fraction and to perform active fraction work.
Communist fractions are to work energetically to bring the majority of the trade union members under their influence. They will be the more successful in this the more devotedly, intelligently, and vigorously they look after the interests of these members, the better they understand how to defend the proletarian class interests and to combine, in all spheres and on every occasion, the struggle for immediate demands with the struggle for the aims of the working class. Communist trade union work is carried on within the framework of the constitution and decisions of the union.
PARTY AND FRACTION
Party members must realize that fractions are not the foundation of the party and that they can therefore take decisions referring only to their special field of activity.
The success of fraction work depends on the unity, determination, and discipline of all fraction members. It is not the individual fraction member, often not even the fraction as a whole, but the communist party in its entirety which is held responsible by the broad working masses for the activity of communist fractions and every utterance of a communist fraction member.
The party committees determine the political and tactical line of communist fractions, give them instructions and directives, and supervise their work. Important fraction work must be discussed by the trade union department of the committee in
the presence of representatives of the fraction. Serious differences of opinion between trade union department and fraction are to be resolved by the party committee in the presence of fraction representatives. Decisions of the committee are to be unconditionally carried out by the fraction. Failure to do so is a breach of discipline.
Candidates for all trade union congresses, conferences, and executives are to be nominated by the fraction leadership and require endorsement by the appropriate party committee. If necessary the party committee may itself nominate candidates.
The relevant party committee is at all times entitled to amend or annul decisions of the fraction, and to dismiss or appoint fraction committees or leaders. In such cases an explanation must be given to the fraction members.
Within the limits of general party instructions, the fraction decides internal questions and current work. Party committees should not interfere unnecessarily in the daily work of the fraction, but should grant it all possible freedom of action and
Fraction committees are obliged to report regularly to the relevant party committee or relevant department, and to the fraction committee next above it in rank.
THE STRUCTURE OF FRACTIONS
Communist trade union work is carried out in factories by the cells, and in trade union bodies by the fraction. Trade union fractions do not operate in the factory. . . .
The cell committee guides and supervises the activity of communist trade union officials in the factory. It must arrange for the nomination in factory trade union elections of comrades who carry out trade union work in the factory on the
instructions of the cell. There is as a rule no direct contact between the fraction committee and the cell. Communication is carried on via the party committee. . . .
At the local level
1. All communist members of a trade union branch form a fraction in that
branch.. . .
2. All communists in a trade union body (executive, union committee, etc.) form a fraction.
The communist fraction in the local administrative centre of a union acts as the committee for the communist fractions of the branches within that area. . . .
3. All fraction members shall be called together for a fraction meeting whenever necessary, but in any case before every trade union meeting, to discuss the execution of the instructions given by the appropriate party committee. If, for objective reasons, it is impossible to lay down the attitude of the fraction beforehand, the instructions of the fraction committee are binding on the entire fraction at the trade
union meeting. Whatever the circumstances, comrades must always speak and vote as one.
4. If in any city the union branches are organized in a local council with communists among the committee, they shall form a fraction which shall act as the committee for all fractions in the branches represented in the council. . . .
At the District Level
1. Communist members of trade union district committees form a fraction. This fraction also acts as the committee for all fractions of the branches of that union in the district. . . .
2. If the district unions are organized into a district trade union council, communists on that council form a fraction which serves at the same time as the committee for all fractions in the area covered. It works under the direction and control of the corresponding district party committee (trade union department). The district party committee may also communicate direct with the district fraction committees of the individual unions. . . .
At the National Level
1. Communist members of the national executive committee of each union form a fraction, which is in charge of the work of all fractions in that union. . . .
2. Communist fractions in the national executive committees are subordinate to the communist fraction of the executive of the trade union federation. The latter works under the direct guidance of the central committee (trade union department).
The CC may also treat directly with the fractions in the union national executives.. . .
Fractions in Unions of Different Tendencies
If in one industry there are unions of different tendencies (red, Amsterdam, syndicalist), fractions are to be formed in each of them, in accordance with their structure. Similarly, fractions should be organized in company trade unions of the Christian, Hirsch-Duncker, fascist, and other varieties.
To this end party organizations must try to recruit members of these unions to the party. In order that the fractions shall act in a planned and uniform fashion when the occasion arises, the relevant party committee (trade union department) shall when
necessary call together the fractions or fraction committees in these different unions for joint consultation. . . .
FRACTIONS AT CONFERENCES AND CONGRESSES
Party committees, working through their trade union department and fraction committee, must make preparations (selection of delegates, draft resolutions, etc.) for trade union congresses, conferences, and delegate meetings. They must convene fraction meetings before these assemblies open, and guide and supervise communist work when they are in session. For the duration of these conferences and congresses, the fraction elects a bureau to deal with current work; the fraction
bureau, working under the guidance of the relevant party committee, bears full political responsibility for its work to that committee.
A uniform attitude and the strictest discipline of all communists at these meetings is particularly necessary, since the broad working masses follow their course most attentively and hold the communist party responsible for the utterances of individual communists.
FRACTIONS AND OPPOSITIONS
Every fraction must maintain contact with the non-communist oppositional elements in the trade unions. Meetings and discussions should be held with these sympathizers to enable a joint and united stand to be taken when the occasion arises.. . .