The Labor Movement in Post-War France

The Labor Movement in Post-War France

The Labor Movement in Post-War France

The Labor Movement in Post-War France

Excerpt

Barring Russia and Italy, the trade-union movement of no other country has experienced such a drastic reorientation as that of France. In pre-War days French trade unionism was the bold leader of Mediterranean Syndicalism; today it is the ardent imitator of Western European trade unionism. At present it possesses a moderately socialistic or reformist trade-union group, the C. G. T., which is concededly the dominant group numerically and influentially. Next in importance is the Communist union group, known as the C. G. T. U. It has salvaged the Syndicalist practices of volatile revolutionary activity among the masses, but has given them the new ideologic façade of Communism. Although it has a stable membership in certain industries, its outstanding activity is among unorganized workers, including immigrant workers. The French Communists exercise on the industrial field a far greater influence than in any other capitalistic country, probably in part because they have organized a separate union movement, and in part because they have utilized the Syndicalist, as well as the older bourgeois, revolutionary traditions.

In most continental European countries the Catholic unions compose the second strongest union group. In France, on the other hand, they occupy third place. And, whereas in the other continental European countries organized Catholic union groups existed before the War, in France it was not until the post-War split in the C. G. T., that they became significant, although isolated unions of Catholic workers date from the early beginnings of the French labor movement.

Simon-pure Syndicalists have not been completely eradicated from contemporary France, although the masses no longer respond to their pipings. During the confusion immediately follow-

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