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La Confédération Générale du Travail

Page history last edited by Daniel Carrie 3 years, 2 months ago

'La Confédération Générale du Travail', or as they are informally know as, the CGT, were a trade union heavily influenced by the PCF. They played a large role in the Grenelle agreement, with their leader, Georges Séguy, being one of the primary individuals in the negotiations.

The CGT were very clear on their demands for the agreements. Their most prominent demand was the abrogation of the 1967 social security decrees, which complied with the CFDT. Additionally, they were insistent that the general wage should rise which would include a large augmentation in the minimum wage, there should be guarantees of wage and employment security, a reduction in the working week, a lowering of the retirement age and more authority and rights given to trade unions within the work place. Furthermore Séguy demanded full payment for all those who had lost wages during the strike.

The CGT played tactical during the agreements. They continued to use the threat of the perpetuation of the strikes in order to attain the best deal possible for the workers. Their position changed however, after hearing of the plans for a large demonstration at the Charléty Stadium arranged by the CDFT and other non-communist left groups. The PCF were not pleased with their expulsion from the demonstration and were worried that plans would be made for an alternative left to communism. The CGT were encouraged by the PCF to quickly close the negotiations as to block the success of the protest. The significance of this situation is that it highlights how politicised the trade union had become and shows how they cared more for following the orders of the PCF than actually achieving an agreement in which the workers deserved. (Ross 1982)

The CGT as a party were weary of the interaction and forming an alliance between the students and workers with direct contact between both minimised as much as possible. This included forcefully distancing itself from the de facto leader of the student movement Daniel Cohen-Bendit. The party also strived to derail the social movement which continued to have a significant impact on economic life in France. The CGT made every effort to turn the protest into the orderly channel of a settlement as it did not want the crisis forming into a revolutionary situation (Gilcher-Holtey, Ingrid 2008).





Gilcher-Holtey, I., 2008. The Dynamic of Protest: May 1968 in France. Critique, 36 (2), 201-218.

Ross, G., 1982. Workers and communist in France: From Popular Front to Eurocommunism. s.l.: University of California Press. pp. 196-203.


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