Semard, Pierre

Semard, Pierre

 

Born Feb. 15, 1887, in Verdun-sur-le-Doubs; died Mar. 7, 1942, in Evreux. French labor leader.

Semard was a railroad worker. In 1916 he joined the Socialist Party. He was a founder and leader of the French Communist Party (FCP, founded December 1920). In November 1922, as a delegate to the second congress of the Red International of Trade Unions (Profintern), Semard, together with G. Mon-mousseau, was received by V. I. Lenin. In 1924, Semard became a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Central Committee of the FCP. From 1924 to 1930 he was general secretary of the FCP and, in 1924 and 1925, a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (Comintern). He actively supported the rights of workers and the unity of the trade union movement.

In 1921 and 1922, Semard was general secretary of the railroad workers’ union. After the split in the trade union movement he was general secretary of the United Professional Syndicate of Railroad Workers from 1922 to 1924 and from 1933 to 1936. In 1936 he became general secretary of the United Federation of Railroad Workers of France and Algeria and a member of the Administative Commission of the World Confederation of Labor.

In October 1939, Semard was arrested for belonging to the Communist Party, and in April 1940 he was sentenced to three years in prison. He was handed over to the fascist German occupiers by the Vichy government and after cruel torture was executed.

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