Trade unionism in France

The Annuaire des Syndicate Professionnels, published by the Direction du Travail, shows that on January 1st, 1911, the workers’ unions (of industry and commerce) numbered 5,325, and, comprised 1,029,238 members. This means that the General Labour Confederation, with its few hundred thousand affiliated members, represents barely one half of the organised workers.

On the other hand, employers’ unions numbered 4,742, with 403,759 members. 194 mixed unions (employers and workmen) comprised, 40,145 members, and 5,407 agricultural societies 912,944 members.

Leaving on one side the agricultural societies properly so-called, we find that employers and workpeople were organised in the following proportions :

Employers (per cent) Workmen (per cent)
Mines: 80 28
Food supply: 30 9.2
Paper: 86 19.2
Metals : 19.6 17.8
Transport: 47 24.4
Liberal Professions: 42 18.7
Chemical Products: 94 31
Textile Industry : 7 15.5

With the exception of the Textile Industry, then, in all branches of industry and commerce the Syndicalism (that some would have us believe to be a superior kind of Socialism) is much, more developed among the employers than among the working class !
—Le Socialisme 9.12.11.

In the succeeding number of Le Socialisme Compere-Morel, in the course of an article entitled “A Cry of Alarm,” gives the following figures :

“On January 1st 1911 if there were in France 826 unions and 189,146 unionists more than on January 1st 1910—that is to say 5,407 agricultural societies with 912,944 members, and 5,325 workers’ unions with 1,029,238 adherents or 10,732 unions and 1,942,182 members—the General Labour Confederation only comprised 3,012 unions and 355,000 adherents !
“Not even one-third of the total unions or membership ! !”

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