Between the time of the unavoidable and the time of possibility: The automobile strikes (1981–1984)

By Vincent Gay

The strikes by migrant automobile workers in the early 1980s were marked by a feeling of crisis. The strength of this feeling varied depending on the actors concerned. For the industrial employers and state officials, the need for restructuring condemned some of the immigrant workers to have to leave the factories. However, by taking part in social conflicts, the migrant workers of Citroën and Talbot acted against this feeling of crisis. The differenciated awareness of the crisis reflects varied relationships to time: the time of crisis represents unavoidable and industrial determinism. This is confronted by the time of conflict, which functions as a time of possibility.

  • Migrant workers
  • Automobile industry
  • Strikes
  • Deindustrialization
  • Future
  • Redundancies
  • Trade unionism
  • 1980s.
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