Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “france”

December 12, 1964

grève2Nine million French workers – more than half of the country’s workforce – participate in a nationwide strike of public service workers over the stagnation of wages under President Charles de Gaulle’s government.

November 24, 1995

france_strike (1)A general strike is called in France to protest Prime Minister Alain Juppe’s plan to increase premiums for healthcare, cut welfare to the unemployed, and make changes to the pension eligibility age for public sector workers. The widespread strike ended in mid-December, when the government agreed to abandon the pension reform part of its plan.

October 22, 1941

Jean-Pierre_TimbaudFrench trade union leader Jean-Pierre Timbaud and 26 others are executed by the Nazis. Timbaud was secretary of the steelworkers’ trade union section of the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT). During World War II, he joined the French Resistance and organized clandestine trade union committees.

October 19, 1993

air_france_protestsAir France freight and other workers go on strike when the company announces plans to cut 4,000 jobs and reduce bonuses. The strike not only forced the government to change its mind about the layoffs, but also led to the ouster of the airline’s chairman.

May 2, 1968


Following months of conflicts between students and authorities at the Paris University at Nanterre, the administration closes the university, setting off a month of civil unrest, general strikes, and the occupation of factories and universities across France by over 11 million students and workers.

April 25, 1947


Workers at the nationalized Renault factory in the Boulogne-Billancourt factory outside of Paris go on strike over wage freezes. Within three days, wildcat strikes broke out throughout the factory, and nearly half of the company’s 30,000 workers were on strike. The strike ended in the middle of May when the government agreed to wage increases and other economic benefits.

June 7, 1936


Following a series of strikes and sit-ins that saw nearly 1.8 million French workers down their tools and occupy 8,441 factories, the government convened a meeting between labor and corporate representatives.  The result was the Matignon Agreements, which included a 40-hour work week, increased union rights, collective bargaining rights, wage increases, and paid leave. 

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