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Matignon agreements


Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Extract

These were concluded in France on June 7, 1936 between trade unions and management during the period of government by the popular front . In anticipation of the left-wing victory at the polls in June 1936, France had witnessed a series of improvised strikes and sit-ins. Nearly 1.8 million men and women downed tools and 8,441 factories were occupied. To resolve the chaos blum convoked representatives of both capital and labor to his prime-ministerial residence, the Palais de Matignon. The resulting arrangements included the introduction of a 40-hour week, the right to collective bargaining, an increase in trade union rights, and paid holidays. The cost of this program has subsequently been blamed for the economic problems of the Popular Front. While the agreements did affect the availability of skilled labor, it must be remembered that Blum's government spent more on rearmament than it did on welfare, and that concessions to workers were well overdue. Although France returned to work, the Matignon agreements did little to stop wildcat strikes, and were openly flouted by employers well before the Popular Front's collapse in 1937. The following year, daladier's right-wing finance minister reynaud rescinded what remained of the agreements, although their spirit lived on in the agenda of the French left. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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