FRANCE: Who Wants to Be a Pauper?

In France, the Communists control the biggest union of them all. The Communist-dominated Confederation General du Travail (CGT) claims 4,000,000 members, probably has at least 2,000,000, and occupies strategic positions throughout French industry and transport. It has long outgunned and outshouted a cluster of loosely joined non-Communist trade unions boasting about 1,500,000 members. But last week the Communist unions suffered a stunning defeat.

Last September, non-Communist negotiators sat down with managers of the biggest nationalized industry in France, the Renault automobile company, employer of 51,000 workers. They agreed to a generous new wage contract: immediate wage boosts of 5%, automatic...

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