Luxembourg Commission


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Luxembourg Commission

 

or Government Commission for Labor, a commission set up after the February Revolution of 1848 by the Provisional Government of the French Second Republic under the pressure of workers, who demanded a solution to the social question.

The commission met in Paris in the Luxembourg Palace (hence its name) from early March to the middle of May 1848. L. Blanc was the chairman and A. Albert the vice-chairman of the commission, which included several hundred delegates from workers’ corporations, representatives of entrepreneurs, and several economic theorists. The commission’s main activity was limited to the consideration of conflicts between workers and employers. Upon the initiative of the Luxembourg Commission the Provisional Government issued a decree on shortening the working day by one hour (from 11 to ten hours in Paris and from 12 to 11 hours in the provinces). The Luxembourg Commission was also instrumental in setting up government offices to find jobs for the unemployed and in creating several professional workers’ associations (for instance, for tailors and spinners). However, lacking funds, an organized machinery, and actual power, the Luxembourg Commission soon became an ineffectual and harmful institution for chatter rather than action that diverted the workers from the revolutionary struggle. The government disbanded the Luxembourg Commission when the bourgeoisie opened an offensive against the working class.

A. I. MOLOK

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