Nedislav Kamburov

Born 1996 in Chirpan, Bulgaria
Nedislav graduated in 2015 from the English Language School in Plovdiv. He is currently doing a gap year in England until he starts studying Industrial Design Engineering in the Netherlands. 

"The strike of the tobacco workers in 1940" (2014)

Up to this very day, tobacco is very important for the Bulgarian economy. During the 1930s, working conditions for tobacco workers went from bad to worse and in June of 1940, during the Second World War, a mass strike of tobacco workers broke out in Bulgaria. What were the conditions that led to this strike and was the strike successful? Nedislav and his classmates wrote about the strike that was supported by Communists and surpressed by state officials.

The strike of the tobacco workers was brought about by years of unfair working conditions. During the 1930s, factories introduced machines and new technologies that eliminated jobs. The workers had to work long days, often 10 - 12 hours and sometimes they were paid in cigarettes instead of money. Workers tried to settle the issues legally but when this proved unsuccessful they decided to organise a strike. They started their strike actions in Plovdiv because that was the largest hub of tobacco factories in the country at the time. Workers in other cities followed suit. After a few days of strike action, the goverment complied to the desired changes and agreed to a 15% raise in all tobacco workers' wages. What was more important was that people now were more confident and believed in "the power of the masses".

Nedislav's team consisted of 6 people, each of whom had a particular task in order for the whole team to be efficient. Nedislav was the team leader and organised their visits to the local history museum and the city library archives where they spoke to staff members who were very supportive and referred them to the correct books, articles and provided them with some photos. The group worked for three months on this project and they learned much not only about the workers uprising, but about the stories behind the individuals as well.

With their blog, Nedislav and his classmates won a participation prize in the Bulgarian History Competition of 2014, the topic of which was "Protest in History – Discontent, Confrontation, Rebelliousness."

Go back