How does the Komsomol hepl young people?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

To give a complete answer to that question we would have to cover all aspects of life. For the Kom­somol helps young people in their work and studies, in making the best use of their leisure time, and in developing their social activity. As has already been said, no issue concerning the youth is decided without the Komsomol. This gives it all opportuni­ties for helping the young.

Here are a few examples.

The Tractor Plant in Chelyabinsk (Urals) has, apart from the usual personnel department, a Kom­somol personnel department run as a public service (many other factories also have such departments). Naturally, they don't try to do the job of the official personnel department. What they do is to carry out a systematic analysis of why young people leave the factory and make suggestions on ways of correcting the situation. Now it would seem that the ordinary personnel department could do this as well. A youngster, however, is more likely to open his heart and soul to a person of his own age, and not to a plant executive in an official interview. In the latter case, he will probably give a stereotyped reason for wanting to change jobs. With a person of his own age that rarely happens-he will pour out all his troubles. And it is highly important from all points of view to know what causes young people to change jobs.

Or let us look at another aspect of this question. Each year hundreds of thousands of young people join the work force. At the beginning many lack experience, and they also come up against psycholo­gical barriers. In both cases the Komsomol is there to help. It arranges for veteran workers to take the newcomers under their wing for a certain period of time.

The Komsomol committee at factories, at trans­port organisations, and at building sites uses the "collective agreements"-the annual agreements signed between workers and management-to the best interests of the youth. It puts forward propos­als that form the basis of the special "youth sec­tions" in these agreements.

The Director of any Soviet enterprise must have the consent of the Komsomol committee before sign­ing any order concerning the future of a young worker. The Komsomol has a say on all matters relating to material incentives for the young, labour protection of workers under 18 years of age, dismis­sal of young workers, and the use of funds for cul­tural and sports activities.

All this applies not only to factories and plants, but to all places where young people work or study.

By taking part in the work of a Komsomol orga­nisation, young people learn to tackle social prob­lems, and they learn many things that will be useful to them in their later life such as standing up for their views and principles and shouldering res­ponsibilities. The young are prone to overestimate their strength and potential. The Komsomol collec­tive helps them to put things into proper perspec­tive. The Komsomol has made the political, labour, moral and aesthetic upbringing of the youth its task, and it does this through its practical activities.