Decazeville Strike 1886
Decazeville Strike (1886)
a strike of 3,500 miners of Decazeville, France, in January 1886. They demanded regular payment of wages, the improvement of working conditions, and the elimination of the system of paying wages in products from the company stores. The authorities broke the strike with military forces, which caused a wave of indignation that spread throughout the country. J. Guesde and P. Lafargue played an active part in the protest campaign. The repressive antilabor policy of the government was resolutely opposed by the labor deputies; they had previously been affiliated with the radicals, but after the Decazeville strike they formed a labor faction in the Chamber of Deputies that opposed the bourgeois parliamentary groups. The strike was an important step in the development of the French labor movement. F. Engels attached great significance to the events connected with the Decazeville strike (see “Letter to A. Bebel of Feb. 15, 1886,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 36, pp. 380-81).