After strikes by transport workers propelled France into travel chaos in December 2019, the state-owned railway company, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer, reminded French media that rail workers had gone on strike every year since 1947. Thomas Beaumont's Fellow Travellers takes readers back to the formative years of railway labor activism in France to examine rail workers’ relationship to communist trade unionism between 1914 and 1939. It was during this period, Beaumont argues, that railway workers emerged as “a bedrock of support” for the French Communist Party and for communist-affiliated trade unions (16). Fellow Travellers analyzes how rail workers became staunch supporters of communist trade unionism and how this alliance shaped railway labor activism between 1914 and 1939. It also provides fascinating glimpses into the history of French railways and rail workers.

The book begins with World War I and the labor and revolutionary upheavals that followed, giving rise...

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