Abstract: The Impossible Transition from "Absolute Monarchy" toward Industrial Democracy in France: The Experience of Workers' Representatives at Schneider, 1899-1936

Mathieu Floquet and Patrice Laroche


Following strikes in the Schneider factories in Le Creusot in 1899, management was forced to satisfy union demands and set up a representative personnel authority, namely, workers' representatives, who would be allowed to resolve conflicts and transmit demands to management. However, the role of the workers' representatives was hijacked by management and rapidly diverted from its objective, leading to the suffocation of unionization at birth. This study seeks to show how the initial establishment of worker participation resulted in weaker unionization overall.

BEH On-Line Paper