Economic Labor Council

Economic Labor Council

To close

Title: Economic Labor Council

Author : DOUMENQ Felix (-)

Creation date : 1919

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 160 - Width 120

Storage location: CIRIP / Gesgon

Contact copyright: © CIRIP - Photo Alain GESGON - All rights reserved

Economic Labor Council

© CIRIP - Photo Alain GESGON - All rights reserved

Publication date: October 2003

Historical context

For an economic democracy
During the First World War, the CGT proved to be an effective partner of the Sacred Union. On the strength of this experience and the points marked in its favor, in 1918 it called for a “policy of presence in the affairs of the Nation” (L. Its minimum program then put forward the idea of ​​a “social right "Of the nation on the branches of production and the economy. He calls for the constitution of" state monopolies ", the development of" autonomous management "and the establishment of an economic council of work (CET) where the trade unions would be represented and which should "determine the general rules of demobilization and the conditions for economic recovery".

Image Analysis

The means of a new world
Since 1910, Félix Doumenq has been the secretary of the National Federation of Cartoonists of France. The poster he produced in 1919 for the CGT was part of the campaign in favor of this council. Aged hands emerging from suits of cloth and white shirts cling to the natural wealth of the nation, represented by a river that flows into the sea. These are those of "special interests", "capital", "trusts" international ”and“ profiteers ”. The CGT relegates them with a light gesture in the darkness of the past. It looks high and wears a coat of arms in the name of its allies: national federation of cooperatives, civil servants (excluded from trade union rights until 1924) and trade union of technicians in industry, commerce and agriculture. Dressed in white and draped in a red curtain that was yesterday a flag, she rests on a half-sphere that she protects, as well. Included in this is the organization chart of the CET with its actors and fields of intervention, some outside of pre-war union practice; thus, the "framework of social life", education or devastated regions.


Represent the union
To represent the union, Félix Doumenq mobilizes and mixes here the republican and worker symbolism established in the course of the 1880s. The CGT is represented by a female allegory in the form of Marianne. Like her radical counterparts studied by Maurice Agulhon, this one wears a Phrygian cap which lets out her undone hair, and one of her breasts is bare. The other is masked by a red scarf, and red is the curtain that separates yesterday from tomorrow. These two symbols are so saturated with meaning that their joint mobilization is not enough to give the desired meaning without ambiguity. In the absence of agreed codes to represent the union, Doumenq must resort to literal highlighting. The acronym CGT, in darker red letters than that of the scarf, alone allows this figure to be distinguished from that of the Social Republic and to speak of the union unambiguously.

  • labor law
  • unionism
  • Union
  • allegory
  • Marianne
  • CGT
  • job


Posters and union struggles of the CGTParis, Chêne, 1978 Jean Pierrre Le Crm (ed.) Two centuries of labor law Editions de l'Atelier, Paris, 1998 Claude Willard (ed.) La France ouvrière Les Editions de l'Atelier , 1995, tI

To cite this article

Danielle TARTAKOWSKY, “Economic Council for Labor”

Video: What is the New Normal: Economic Conditions and the Labor Markets