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Syndicalism, Greece

Georgos Koukoules

Subject Social History » Labor History
Sociology » Social Movements

Place Southern Europe » Greece

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics economy, labor unions, revolution, rights, welfare

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01435.x


The Greek labor movement reflects the particularities of socioeconomic development in the Greek state from the 1870s to the early twentieth century. The early development of labor syndicalism emerged during the depression in Western Europe after 1873 which forced capital to seek new national markets in Greece. The Greek economy also expanded in the late nineteenth century as expatriate capital began flowing into the country. The conditions for elementary industrial development were also facilitated from 1875 to 1895 by measures introduced by the government of Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis to insulate domestic production from foreign imports. Greek industrial activity also expanded through the construction of a national transportation network in 1884 and the development of government infrastructure. Despite modest industrialization in the early twentieth century, 50.5 percent of Greece's population remained active in the dominant agrarian economy. The first trade unions as understood today were established in the country around the end of the nineteenth century. In the early twentieth century a type of horizontal, cross-sector union appeared, the Local Labor Centers (Ergatika Kentra; Eργτικα Kɛντρα), equivalent to the British Trades Councils. Federalized unions organized on a vertical basis appeared following the establishment of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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