In the first week of June, the strike and occupation movement swept France. Large engineering, construction, printing and transport battalions were followed by workers in traditionally weaker sectors: shoe factories, sugar refineries, locksmiths, carpets and sheets are just a few examples. It wasn`t just blue-collar workers. Salesmen in Parisian department stores and even newspaper sellers were on strike. About 2 million workers went on strike at the height of the struggle. Economic life was paralyzed. The workers had control of their factories. To regain control, the bosses had no choice but to make massive concessions. Under the aegis of the government, which specified that the legislation would impose 40 hours, paid holidays and collective agreements, they signed the Matignon contract with union leaders on 7 and 8 June. In the end, the agreement applied with wage increases of between 7 and 15 per cent.
The agreements offered an amnesty to those who participated in the hostage-taking in the cave of Ouvea in 1988 and prohibited any proceedings concerning the deaths of four gendarmes and 19 members of the independent Kanak. The law of 24 June 1936 was the most important advance before the Second World War in the state`s intervention in the formation of wages. It established that negotiated collective agreements should provide minimum wages for each level of workers in this sector and there was the possibility that agreements between the negotiating parties would be extended, by ministerial mandate, to all companies in the sector or region. A state mechanism for the generalization of standard minimum rates for all workers has been created. The Matignon Agreements were agreements signed by Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Jacques Lafleur on June 26, 1988 at the Matignon Hotel, between loyalists who wanted to keep New Caledonia under the French Republic and separatists who did not. The agreements were concluded under the aegis of the French government following discussions and compromises by Christian Blanc, the negotiator in Michel Rocard`s government. The 1936 Act gave the Minister of Labour the power to convene “common commissions” of the most “representative” employers` and trade union organizations in a regional or national “branch” of each branch to negotiate collective agreements. It put in place a First World War procedure, in which the minister was able to order all employers in the sector to respect the agreements, whether they participated in them or not, when their employees were unionized. Without having to organize a strike in each factory to give them benefits, all the workers benefited from these agreements: the Matignon agreements (Matignon agreements) were signed on 7 June 1936 between the General Confederation of French Production (CGPF), the CGT union and the French state.
They were signed during a massive general strike launched after the election of the Popular Front in May 1936, which led to the formation of a left-wing government led by Leon Blum (SFIO). Also known as the “Magna Carta of French Work”, these agreements were signed at the Matignon Hotel, the official residence of the head of government, hence their name. This was the result of a wave of mass factory occupations legitimized by the Matignon Accords and the law of June 24, 1936. What is important in this reduction is that, while it reflected the temporary weakening of the ownership of French employers, it was essentially motivated by political reasons and not by the result of workers` demands. Matignon had other effects. It encouraged less organized workers to strike and advance their own demands. Far from having had the effect on change, it would have been said for a while that it was the opposite. No wonder Léo Trotsky wrote: “The French Revolution has begun.” One observer said: “After a brief moment of silent fear, to the astonishment of party leaders and trade unions, this meeting generated a mad enthusiasm, an explosion of cries of joy.