January 1924

Communist International

ECCI





ON THE ORGANIZATION OF FACTORY CELLS


RESOLUTION OF THE ECCI

January 21, 1924


(extracts)

Inprekorr, iv, 24, p. 261, 21 February 1924




The organization of the party must be adapted to the conditions and purposes of its activity. . .


. . . The final goal of our party is the overthrow of bourgeois rule, the conquest of power by the working class, the attainment of communism. Its immediate task is to win over the majority of the working class by active participation in the daily struggle of the working masses and the leadership of that struggle. This can be accomplished only by the closest association of our party organization with the working masses in the factories.

With this in mind, the third world congress of the CI decided that factory cells were to be the foundation of the CP. This change has not yet been carried out in the majority of CI sections; in many sections the question of organizing factory cells has not even been raised in a practical form. The experience of the German revolution (end of 1923) has, however, shown most clearly that, in the absence of cells based on the factories and of close connexions with the working masses, the latter cannot be drawn into the struggle and led, their moods cannot be rightly appraised, the moment most favourable to us cannot be exploited, nor victory won over the bourgeoisie.


BASIC FORMS OF LOCAL PARTY ORGANIZATION



1.


The basis of party organization is the party cell in the factory. All communists who work in a particular factory must belong to that factory cell. Note: In factories with only one or two party members, these will be attached to the nearest factory cell, which must extend its work to cover all the factories in the area which have no cells.



2.


Communists who do not work in factories, workshops, stores, etc. (housewives, domestic servants, porters, etc.) shall be in street cells organized according to locality. Note: All members of factory cells who live in other districts must be registered with the district bureau of the district in which they live. The district bureau shall make use of them in the street cells. Members of cells in other districts who are assigned to a street cell by the district bureau may not vote in those street cells on questions on which they have already voted in their factory cells (questions of party principle, elections of party delegates, etc.).



3.


The unemployed remain members of the cell of the factory where they were previously employed. In cases of prolonged unemployment they may, with the permission of the district committee, be detached from that cell and transferred to a cell in the area where they live.



4.


In small industrial centres, towns, and villages, where workers live close to their place of employment in factory or farm, homogeneous cells should be formed wherever possible around the factory or farm.



5.


Factory cells and street cells shall elect a bureau or presidium of from three to not more than five members, who shall distribute the work among themselves. . .



. . .



7.


In large towns with many factory and street cells, these shall be organized into districts, and districts into areas. The areas together make up the town organization.


. . . In small towns and villages cells are organized into local groups. . .


. . . Note: The districts and local groups shall hold regular meetings of all members of all cells in their area.



8.


At the head of every district and local group there shall be a bureau of three to five members elected by the general meeting of all cell members, or by delegate meetings, according to local circumstances. .


. . .



10.


The leadership of town party organizations shall be elected at town conferences consisting of delegates from all districts in the town in proportion to their membership.



11.


In order to strengthen the influence of the factory cells, more than half the members of the district bureau and the area committee must be members of factory

cells. . . .



12.


In conditions of illegality, the higher party bodies have the right, in exceptional circumstances such as the arrest of the area committee, to appoint a new area committee, provided that a delegate meeting is held at the first opportunity to confirm the appointment or elect a new committee. . .


. . . Area committees working in illegal conditions should be kept as small as possible.





TASKS OF THE FACTORY CELLS



Emphasis in the party's political organization work must be shifted to the factory cells.

By taking the lead in the struggle of the working masses for their daily needs, the factory cell should guide them forward to the struggle for the proletarian dictatorship. . . .


In addition to general party matters, the tasks of the factory cell are the following:



1.


To conduct communist agitation and propaganda among the nonparty working masses, and systematic work with individual workers in order to draw them into the CP. To distribute political literature in the factory, and even issue a special factory paper. . . .



2.


To work persistently and tenaciously to capture all official posts in the factory (trade union), co-operative society, factory council, control committee, etc.



3.


To intervene in all industrial disputes and demands of the working masses; the cell should extend and deepen the movement, explain to the workers the political consequences of the struggle, and move them on to the path of broader struggle (not only industrial but political), and create a united workers' front against the bourgeoisie and fascism.


4.


The cell must fight persistently in the factories against the followers and members of other parties, including the socialist and other 'labour' parties, using for this purpose material about the activities of these parties which is comprehensible even to the backward strata of the working class.



5.


To establish contact between the employed and the unemployed, in order to prevent conflict between them.



6.


When conditions are ripe, to fight for workers' control of production, banks, estates, transport. . . .


7.


To work among the women and young persons in the factory and draw them into the struggle. . . .



8.


Every cell member must take active part in all party work in the factory, assigned to him by the cell bureau or presidium.

Apart from these special tasks in the factories, the factory cells also have territorial tasks. . . .


The most important of these are:


1. Political and organizational party work in the area where the members live;

carrying through of election, housing, and cost-of-living campaigns. . . .


2. Distribution of party literature, recruiting of new readers and new party

members, agitation, propaganda, and individual recruiting in local organizations

(clubs, etc.); drawing sympathizers into demonstrations. . . .


3. House-to-house agitation in the area, reporting on the party affiliation of local

residents, on political work in the area, on fascist activity; observation of armsstores,

etc.