Catholic French Trade Union Defies Government

This article, written by Ciaran Mac Guill, is from issue 82 of the Traditionalist Catholic bi-monthly magazine The Brandsma Review.

Under the title "A TRULY CATHOLIC, TRULY INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION", Mac Guill writes of the French Federation of Christian Workers, or CFTC in their French acronym. It is the oldest trade union in French history, in existence since 1887. It has kept an eye on bog big government, big business and worker's rights within a Catholic Christian context. While organized labor has shrunk down to 10% in France, the CFTC has been steadily growing in membership.

The Brandsma Review notes that it was the CFTC, along with people who organize the yearly Pentecost Pilgrimage to the shrine of Chartres, that exposed the government's attempt to permanently eliminate the paid holiday of Whit Monday. The dyed-in-the-wool anti-religious rulers in Paris have long wanted to get rid of the holiday, the Monday after Pentecost, as part of their unending campaign to secularize France.

But the CFTC noted that non-Catholics also take advantage of the holiday to be with their families and travel around France, which helps their local tourism industry. Further, under French and European Union laws, workers would have to be paid overtime if working on holidays. The government scheme would mean an extra work day but no extra money earned.

Hence the scheme is anti-Catholic and anti-worker BOTH.

France's four other trade unions - predominantly socialistic - didn't join the CFTC's actions against the government until later because of their anti-Catholic foundations. Whether the Whit Monday holiday will be destroyed is as yet unknown to all. But the CFTC will keep tabs on the matter.

The CFTC is also seeking to build links with similar trade unions like itself worldwide. Mac Guill says that Eastern Europe looks very promising. (It is unknown to this writer whether there is a similar union in either the US, Canada or Mexico.)

Defending the worker against big government, big business and socialist materialism is a bedrock tradition in the CFTC. Which makes them pro-Distributist in the DR's eyes. Congratulations to the union, and God richly bless you in your efforts.


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