Labor Laws and Social Reformism in the Works of Paul Pic (1862–1944)

By Denis Bayon, Ludovic Frobert

Paul Pic (1862–1944) was one of the first law professors in France specialized in the development of labor legislation. The six editions of his main book, Traité élémentaire de Législation Industrielle, proposed an analysis of the progress of this legislation between 1893 and 1943. Throughout most of his career, Paul Pic was very favorable to social innovations like collective agreements and social insurance. However, we can observe an evolution in his analysis between 1919 and 1943 which was strongly influenced by anti-communism. Finally, in his last work published in 1943 during the Vichy regime, he recognized some qualities but also some defects in the new organization and legislation of labor. This paper proposes an analysis of the strength and weaknesses of Paul Pic's social reformism. It tries to highlight the ambivalence of the solidarist source of his work.

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