Autopsy of a Negotiation. The Settlement of the April–May 1947 Renault Strike

By Cyrille Sardais

This article explores the process of negotiation which brought about an end to the strike at Renault in April-May 1947, one of the most important postwar conflicts in France. The article draws on research from the rich archives of Renault’s CEO, in particular, the minutes of meetings held between top company executives, union leaders from the CGT, and/or top government officials. It shows exactly how an acceptable solution to the conflict was reached by all those involved, one which was inconceivable to the protagonists at the outset, but which ultimately met all their demands. By entering into the “different worlds” of the principle actors in this negotiation, the text sheds new light on a particularly impressive negotiation process as well as an important chapter in postwar French history, one which proved decisive in the exclusion of communist ministers from the French Government and the break with the tripartite system.


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