The Seine Primary School Teachers’ Strike in 1947

By Robert Hirsch

In the fall of 1947, and at the same time as a national strike action, primary school teachers in the Seine area went on strike for two weeks for the re-grading of the teaching profession. The National Union did not back their action and called on them to put an end to their movement. Its leadership disagreed with the strikes stirred by the communists at the national level. Nevertheless, the Seine local activists, who shared the same viewpoint as the communists, carried on with the strike in spite of the national leaders' opposition. Yet, the Seine group failed to spread the strike into the other parts of France and to other sectors of public education. After two weeks, the Seine activists went back to work since they had achieved very little. By refusing to opt for either one or the other trend which were to split in December 1947 (the CGT majority and the FO minority), they paved the way for autonomy, which was later to be voted by the unionist teachers in spring 1948.


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