Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Defenestration of an Employer

26 January 1886
The Mine at Decazeville, France
Wikimedia Commons

France saw a number of sharp labour conflicts in 1886. A miners strike in Decazeville broke out on January 26, after the announcement by the management of a wage cut of 34%. During skirmishes on that first day, the deputy director of the mine was thrown out of a window. He was severely wounded and died at the end of the day.

This led to a fierce reaction by the authorities. The military moved in to quell the unrest. The strike was not broken and lasted until June 14. In the end, the workers had gained a small victory.

The long conflict attracted a great deal of attention. Numerous solidarity meetings were organized all over France. On June 3, 1886 a large solidarity meeting was organized in Paris in the Chateau d’Eau Theatre. Among the people who spoke was Louise Michel. Read more...