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Fourth International Notes

(2 September 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 35, 2 September 1946, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Protests Mount on Demaziere Attack

We have received new information from France relating to the brutal attack on Albert Demaziere, Central Committee member of the (Trotskyist) Parti Communiste Internationaliste by a gang of Stalinist hoodlums at a meeting in Nice on July 12. The incident has aroused the indignation of workers all over France. Letters are pouring into PCI headquarters from revolutionary, socialist and trade union workers. The following, from a militant in St. Nazaire, is an example:

“Dear comrades,

“The CGT (French trade union federation) union local of the Bastien workshops learns with indignation of the unjustifiable attack at Nice upon Comrade Demaziere, who in 1942 was condemned to hard labor for life by the special court of Vichy. Our local energetically protests against these obvious acts of the Stalinists gangsters of the PCF (Communist Party of France) in the interest of the bosses.


For the local


French Party Holds Plenum

The Central Committee of the French Trotskyist Party, PCI, met in full session recently in preparation for the coming national convention of the organization. Various resolutions came before the Plenum, and will come before the convention. Labor Action hopes to be able to report on these discussions. The CC reaffirmed its previous decision on the referendum in France. Readers will recall that the Minority of the French Party succeeded in carrying a majority this spring on the question of how to vote in the referendum on the proposed constitution.

As against the Majority group and the International Executive Committee of the Fourth International, the Minority advocated a “yes” vote on the grounds that sharp class lines which could be further developed had been drawn over the issue, particularly over the unicameral legislature – the working class on one side, the capitalist on the other – though the constitution itself was a document upholding capitalism and French imperialism.

Postal Strikers Oppose Stalinist Leadership

Comrade Arpin sends us the following report on the postal strike which has since ended.

“The French workers, tired of getting only promises of a wage raise to meet the high cost of even the most essential foods, are beginning to take the road of action. The workers of the Postal, Telephone and Telegraphic services went out on strike on July 30. The Stalinist leadership of the national Postal Federation wanted the strike limited to a symbolic ten hours. In a large part of France, however, the strike continues.

“Begun without adequate preparation by leaders whose only thought was to put a brake on the movement, with the order to ’warn the public in advance,’ with leaflets that never arrived, the strike has passed up a marvelous opportunity: the Peace Conference, an excellent, chance to force the three-party government to give in to the demands in short order. But the Stalinist leadership specifically exempted the conference from the strike order.

“Led by the sections Nord, Bordeaux and Marseilles, the entire south, west and several other regions of France are still striking at this writing (August 1) despite telegrams from the center denouncing ‘irresponsible elements’ and demanding an end to the strike. Some parts of Paris have resumed the strike, as has Corsica.

“The telegrams also claimed that the union’s delegation to the Ministry of the PTT had already succeeded in getting a 40 per cent increase. But the local federation of Nord sent its own delegation to the PTT. These militants in turn informed PTT workers all over the country by telegraph that the Stalinist claims were untrue, that the Ministry had merely announced a 25 per cent raise for the lowest categories.

“Given the approximately 80 per cent rise in prices in a year, this is clearly insufficient, especially for the PTT workers who receive less than most other government employees. Thus even the leadership has been forced to demand reclassification as well as an increase in family allotments and payment for overtime.

“The Corsican Federation has telegraphically demanded the continuation of the strike, and additionally demanded a temporary 25 per cent raise after reclassification, plus a 7,000 franc monthly minimum maintained and protected by the sliding scale.”

Comrade Arpin adds:

“To give you an idea of the situation. My neighbor, a PTT worker, skilled and with long seniority, and with a family of several children gets the maximum of 7,000 francs a month. His July grocery and bakery bills alone total 6,600 francs. Is there any wonder at his disgust with the capitalist and Stalinist fakers who counsel ‘patience’?”

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