A shock worker is a worker who demonstrates increased labour productivity. This concept appeared in the Soviet Union during the first five-year plans.
The word is related to the expression “shock work”, that is, the work at full pressure, aimed at the exceeding of set standards and deadlines. The expression “shock brigade” was also popular. “Shock Worker of Communist Labour” is the official title of honour supported with the certificate and the pin, as well as a cash prize. Other achievements could be followed by more tangible rewards.
“Shock-brigade” movement was an important means of ideological influence. The names of shock workers, who had reached the most impressive results (a miner Alexei Stakhanov, a locomotive engineer Peter Krivonos, a tractor driver Pasha Angelina, a steelworker Makar Mazzei and many others), were widely used as an example to be followed, they received high government awards and were promoted to the elected authorities, etc.
The attitude to shock labor and shock workers was of two kinds. On the one hand, a sincere desire to achieve high performance in professional activities evoked respect. On the other hand, the increased proficiency of some workers soon had a negative effect on the earnings of others, because the set production quotas were consequently raised, and wage rates declined.
By 1970-1980s “shock brigade” movement in the Soviet Union had become a formality, which had no more resemblance to the enthusiasm during the first five-year plans and post-war construction.
The terminology is still used in China and North Korea.
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The upper cockade of the Russian Armed Forces is a custom metal sign on the military headdress (service cap). It was approved in 1998 and is applied to the present time.
The cockade represents the emblem of the Russian Armed Forces in the form of a golden double-headed eagle with outstretched wings, holding a sword (a symbol of readiness to defend the Fatherland) and a laurel wreath (a symbol of glory and honor).
The cockade and the emblem to the ceremonial full-dress service cap and peakless cap of the sergeants and petty officers of the service for a fixed period (conscription recruitment), soldiers, sailors, military students (academy men), Suvorov military and Nakhimov naval cadets.
The ceremonial and full dress uniform for the Soviet Army ranks and sergeants of the service for a fixed period (conscription recruitment) was established in 1969.