Source: L'Humanité, May-June 1936;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2005.
The strikes spread throughout France, and the front page of L'Humanité reflected the momentum of the movement
Steelworkers of the Amiot, Lioré-Ollivier, Hitchkiss, Sauter-Harlé, Lavalette, nieuport, Forman, Latécoère, Bréguet, Citroen, Renault, Dewoitine factories have demanded an improvement in their salaries. After a few hours of struggle in the factory, most of them have obtained satisfaction. Everywhere, the elected representatives of the Popular Front have vigorously supported the cause of the workers.
The men of the building trades have imposed raises of four to eight francs in Voreddes (Seine-et-marne) Trappes (Seine-et-Oise), Paris, etc.
30,000 agricultural workers of the Herault have obtained raises of two to four francs a day.
200 miners of the Pas-de-Calais have imposed the end of the use of stopwatches and bullying.
Everywhere, the workers are actively pursuing the struggle for the improvement of salaries and of working conditions.
Everywhere, it is the fight, in order and discipline, for the defense of the workers’ bread, for the right to life of the working population of France.
The conflict spreads in the provinces, in particular in the Nord where there are already 300,000 strikers — The miners will also quit work tomorrow — In the Valenciennes basin 45,000 steelworkers fight.
Catholic workers having joined with their Communist, Socialist and independent brothers in their fight for their bread, Cardinal Verdier recognizes the legitimacy of the workers’ demands and the avidity of the intransigent bosses.
The impression given yesterday following the transmission of power to the government of Leon Blum, and the will expressed by the Popular Front Chamber, has been confirmed by the facts.
The big bosses, grouped in the Confédération Générale de la Production Francaise have decided, before the splendid demonstration of order and unity given by the workers occupying the factories, to grant satisfaction to the demands of the CGT.
As we go to press the conversation continues only as concerns the department stores. There is no doubt that here, too, the combativeness of the workers, their sense of organization and the calm — that I witnessed with my own eyes — will gain success.
As Communists we salute with enthusiasm this victory of union unity, this triumph of the French reconciliation of working masses who have just completed their magnificent apprenticeship as a leading class
— Paul Vaillant-Couturier