Matignon Agreements (1936)

The Matignon Agreements (French: Accords de Matignon) were signed on 7 June 1936, at one o'clock in the morning, between the Confédération générale de la production française (CGPF) employers' organization, the CGT trade union and the French state. They were signed during a massively followed general strike initiated after the election of the Popular Front in May 1936, which had led to the creation of a left-wing government headed by Léon Blum (SFIO). Also known as the "Magna Carta of French Labor", these agreements were signed at the Hôtel Matignon, official residence of the head of the government, hence their name.

The negotiations, in which participated Benoît Frachon for the CGT, Marx Dormoy (SFIO) as under-secretary of state to the President of the Council, Jean-Baptiste Lebas (SFIO, Minister of Labour), had started on 6 June at 3 PM, but the pressure from the workers' movement was such that the employers' confederation quickly accepted the unions' terms. A general strike had been initiated in Le Havre on 26 May, accompanied by factory occupations to prevent lock outs, and had quickly spread to all of France. More than a million workers were on strike. The social movement immediately followed the electoral victory of the Popular Front, in order to reach this position of force. Interior Minister Roger Salengro publicly announced the following day the success of the negotiations.

Without having to organize strike in each factory in order to gain some advantages for them, all of the workers benefited with these agreements of:

Furthermore, Blum's government deposed on 5 June five law projects, prepared by the Minister of Labour Jean-Baptiste Lebas, which were easily adopted during the month. These laws granted:

On 11 June, Maurice Thorez, national secretary of the French Communist Party (PCF), stated that "one must know how to finish a strike, at the moment that the main points have been obtained." His declaration was published in L'Humanité, the press organ of the PCF. Alluding to Marceau Pivert's famous statement, he recalled that "Not everything was possible but the slogan is still: 'Everything for the Popular Front!' 'Everything by the Popular Front'"

Work was resumed at the Renault factories on 13 and 15 June and in the steelworking industry.

This page was last edited on 14 July 2017, at 11:54.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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