Alphonse Merrheim: The Emergence of Reformism in by N. Papayanis

By N. Papayanis

I The adolescence, 1871–1906.- 1 Early alternate Unionism. From the Federation of Copper-workers to the Federation of Metalworkers 1893–1904.- 2 French staff and international staff. The moves within the Lorraine, 1905.- three The fight for the Eight-Hour paintings Day. The Strike of Hennebont, 1906.- II The main issue of progressive Syndicalism, 1906–1914.- four The predicament within the CGT.- five The situation within the Federation of Metalworkers.- 6 Merrheim’s highbrow Formation. The Justification for Reformism.- 7 Merrheim the CGT and Antimilitarism.- III The battle and its Aftermath.- eight the boundaries of Antimilitarism.- nine Merrheim, Jouhaux and Collaboration.- IV The Postwar concern, 1918–1923.- 10 Merrheim and the recent Syndicalism.- eleven The June Metalworkers’ Strike, 1919.- 12 Merrheim’s ultimate Crisis.- Abbreviaiions utilized in Notes.- Notes.

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These new arrests only made matters worse for the revolutionary syndicalists. As for Merrheim, one very complete report on him in the police archives accounts for some of his caution and also explains why police left him alone. It records that in July Merrheim had gone on a mission t o the southwest of France t o enlist syndicalist support for the building trades workers in the event of a general strike. H e completely failed in this task, however. Not even the workers of Cluses, whom he had led in 1904, and who were then (July 18) holding an anniversary demonstration for their 1904 strike, would commit themselves.

T h e Strike of DraveiI-Villeneuve-Saint-Georges Draveil and Villeneuve-Saint-Georges are neighboring cities not too far southwest of Paris. In July 1908 these two cities became linked by a strike that broke out there a m o n g building trades workers. The various building trades unions had united into one federation in 1907, the F6d6ration du B~timent (Federation of Building Trades Workers), and emerged with a strong activist spirit. During the first months of 1908 the Parisian sections of the Federation of Building Trades Workers had stirred up a considerable amount of labor agitation.

6 When no answer was forthcoming by April 25, the miners, who belonged t o the Chambre Syndicale Ouvriere de l'Industrie M6tallurgique de Briey, struck the following d a y . One of the first acts of the strikers of Thil was t o appeal t o the Federation of Metalworkers in Paris t o send them a delegate. They did this despite the fact that unionization was generally weak a m o n g miners and metalworkers in the Meurthe-et-Moselle and notwithstanding the initial resistance of the director of the mine t o talk t o any u n i o n representatives, v Even before the federation's delegate arrived, the strikers were joined by an Italian organizer on April 26.

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