General strike

a general strike is a strike action of all workers and today also different citizen (worker, student) of a country or a region. Toward end 19. Century favored the increasing international workers' movement the general strike for the penetration of economic or political goals.

General strike s are because of theircomprehensive interruption of the everyday life extremely effectively. Different ranges of the public life (traffic, post office, en and disposal) come to succumbing. Usually work-willing can be prevented due to a unionized organization from the strike break. If the general strike is organized by the trade unions, it sets a high organizational level for thatTrade unions ahead.

Frequently serious economic unfairness or social unrests forms the releasing motives for a general strike.

Apart from economic causes a general strike can have also political causes, like for example with the cut Putsch in the Weimar Republic, where the general strike finally led also to striking down the Putsches.

A goal of numerous left and socialist movements was to accomplish by an organized paralysis the “gentle revolution” of the country. If state and administration are switched off consequently, the workers in a the position would be to reorganize in accordance with society certain radical lines. This philosophy became of the industrial workers that anarchosyndikalistischen trade unions particularly in early 20. Century prefers.

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to Luxembourg

into Luxembourg came it to 31. August 1942 to a general strike against German crew power. The reason for this was the obligation recruiting of young Luxemburger into the military service. Luxembourg was the only state during 2. World war in a general strike against the crew revolted itself. During brutal striking down became Example sets. Coincidentally selected strikers were arrested, came before the court martial and on the following day were shot.

Weimar Republic

in Germany was called for the first time in the March of the yearly 1920 as reaction to the cut Putsch to a general strike. Because of the general strike that failedPutsch then also.

France 1968

the largest general strike of newer European history - the first wild general strike at all - were May unrests 1968 in France.

general strike in France 2006

to 28. March 2006 found approximately in France a general strikethe job market reform loosened by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin instead of, with that the protection against dismissal from young people to 26 years and/or. to be waived is. According to data of the government is to lead to the decrease of youth unemployment. The strikers fear opposite results, because dismissals without term of notice and without indicationfrom reasons are possible. In the strike participate member of many social layers, including many students, since for example also college graduates are affected by loosening the protection against dismissal. The protection against dismissal is to be waived for the first two years of the employment.


inGermany is not permissible this form of the strike. See autonomy in bargaining. Also a political general strike is not permissible in the FRG.


  • Michael Halfbrodt: General strike, eight hours' working day and first May. A chapter from the radical workers' movement. Bielefeld: OD. Black box, 1997.

See also


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