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France: a book on the history of the UTCL

category france / belgium / luxemburg | history of anarchism | news report author Thursday May 30, 2013 21:35author by Alternative libertaire - AL Report this post to the editors

In 1976, a group of young workers was expelled from the ORA and created the Union des Travailleurs Communistes Libertaires. They were supporters of a form of trade-unionism based on direct action and soon found themselves heavily involved in the resistance to the shift within the CFDT. [Français]


Théo Rival

Syndicalistes et libertaires.

Une histoire de l'UTCL (1974-1991)

éd. Alternative libertaire, 2013, 316 pages, €12.

In 1976, a group of young workers was expelled from the Organisation Révolutionnaire Anarchiste (ORA) and created the Union des Travailleurs Communistes Libertaires (UTCL). They were supporters of a form of trade-unionism based on direct action and soon found themselves heavily involved in the resistance to the shift within the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT).

In the '80s, when the ebb in social struggles proved to be fatal for part of the far left, the UTCL was instead able to survive by linking its fortunes to that part of the left within the CFDT which, in the spirit of May 1968, would go on to create the SUD unions (Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques).

From the huge strikes in 1974 to the birth of a coordination of strikers in 1986, recounting the history of the UTCL is like having a good slice of the workers' movement's history as a backdrop.

Thanks to this research into the UTCL, which taps into previously unexplored CFDT archives, this study seeks to identify the role played by this original revolutionary current, syndicalist and libertarian at one and the same time.

* * *

The book contains four valuable appendices:

  • a rich iconographic selection on the ORA and the UTCL;
  • the political review document adopted in 1991 by the UTCL at the time of its break-up;
  • a previously-unpublished interview on the ORA with Patrice Spadoni and Thierry Renard;
  • a long interview with 12 former members of the UTCL.
To order the book [which is entirely in French - tr.], please visit: the Alternative Libertaire online shop.

The book will be launched by the author and several former UTCL members during the Self-Management Fair at Montreuil on Saturday 8 June at 5 pm (Seine-Saint-Denis).

Translation by FdCA - International Relations Office.

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