The article describes a conflict in the first half of the 1970s in the French merchant navy, when the government opened this sector up to sailors from other countries of the European Community. The European Court of Justice ruled against France in this matter. This case highlights the relationships between unions, workers and immigration, as well as the political role of Community institutions. The study refers to the documents of the Ministry of Transport, the National Assembly, the Senate, the CGT labour union, the European Commission, the European Court of Justice and the Council of the European Communities. The article shows how widespread xenophobia was in the French merchant navy. It also reveals the role of the Community’s institutional framework in enforcing international agreements and thereby maintaining a European balance.
The CGT abroadBy Emmanuel Comte