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Jouhaux (Jouhaux), Leon

( French business leader, Nobel Peace Prize, 1951)

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Biography Jouhaux (Jouhaux), Leon
July 1, 1879, Mr.. - April 28, 1954
French labor leader Leon Jouhaux was born in Paris working-class family, his father worked in a slaughterhouse. Even in childhood, the boy met with radical ideas, which dragged his grandfather in the Revolution of 1848, and his father led to the barricades 1871. Leon was not, and two years when his father got a job at a match factory in Oberviyere near Paris. In the 12-year old boy left the local high school and started working at foundries, t. to. father at that time participated in the strike. Lessons learned, remembered M. later, 'had a significant impact on my future'.
Erudition gave the young M. to enter the Lyceum Colbert and hope to become an engineer, but nine months later, new family complications forced him to resume work, this time on the soap factory Michaud. One year M. studied in the professional school of Diderot, but then went to his father's match factory, where he became an apprentice. All free time M. dedicated reading.
Called up for military service in 1900, he was sent to Algeria from the 1 st regiment of Zouaves, but three years later, he was demobilized after the father lost his eyesight from years of working with white phosphorus. Playing quite a prominent role in the trade union movement as an administrative secretary at the local branch of the Federation of workers of match factories, F. enthusiastically took part in a strike in protest against the use of substances, from which the blind father. The strike lasted a month and reached the goal, but M. lost work. For six years he was in a 'black list', while the union has not made his rehabilitation at the factory.
In 1906, Mr.. Local Union chose M. delegate to the General Confederation of Labor (WCL). Founded in 1895. CGT represented the majority of French workers, many of whom were socialists, feel kinship with colleagues across Europe. In the ranks of the WCL M. moved rapidly, becoming treasurer in 1909. and a year later - Secretary General. In his speeches, and as editor of CGT 'Fight syndicalists' M. acted not only for better working conditions, but also for the development of international relations.
In the tense months preceding the First World War, F. European trade unions urged to stand united against the war. In August 1914, Mr.. ZH. abandoned pacifism and supported the military efforts of France. Speaking at a conference of trade unions of the Entente in Leeds (England) in 1916, . He expressed the hope, . that the end of the war may bring 'freedom, . political and economic independence, . disarmament, . binding international arbitration, and the prohibition of secret diplomacy 'in Europe,
. Moreover, he declared, 'if as a result of the peace treaty, all these things shall open the way to the United States of Europe', where 'the working class be able to count on the growth of prosperity and freedom. "
Ability to promote these views M. was becoming a technical expert of the international commission of labor legislation at the Paris Peace Conference. Together with Samuel Gompers and other labor leaders M. upheld Article 13 of the Treaty of Versailles, which established the International Labor Organization (ILO). Entering the ruling of the ILO, M. was elected vice-president of the newly established International Federation of Trade Unions, a post he held until 1945,. Among the first activities of the Federation called for 20 million. its members to assist the victims of war, especially in Austria, where famine threatened thousands.
After the war, the French Communists, inspired by the Russian Revolution, attempted to seize the leadership of WCL. In 1921, having tried all means of persuasion, F. expelled the Communists from the ranks of the organization. Justified opinion of him as a man who "likes to fight and not lost in the moment of decisive action '. Prestige it was so great that the Communist protests soon ceased.
The period between the world wars was for M. time of hard work. ZH. was a member of the French delegation to the League of Nations, . preparing proposals on arms control, . participated in economic conferences, . worked in the Committee on Unemployment and the European Union represented workers at the Conference on arms limitation and reduction,
. In the book 'Disarmament' ( 'Le Desarmement'), published in 1927, M. argued that the arms industry should be brought under state control.
Alarmed by the reality of another world war and not trust the capabilities of the League of Nations, F. attempted to restore public opinion against the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the Spanish Civil War, Nazi aggression in Czechoslovakia and Austria. Having met in 1938. with Franklin D.
Roosevelt, he urged the president to impose sanctions against Germany. War broke out a year later, and with the fall of France in 1940. CGT defunct. Rejecting an invitation to join 'Free French', F. went to the south of France, participated in the resistance movement and in December 1941. was arrested in Marseilles. Two years later, M. and his wife were sent to Buchenwald, but they managed to survive until the liberation by Allied troops in May 1945
Upon his return to Paris M. resumed work in the ILO, and in addition, became chairman of the French Economic Council (a very important position in the Fourth Republic). He again had to enter into conflict with the Communists in the CGT. When opponents refused to support the European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan, named after George C. Marshall), F. in 1947. left CGT. Along with other labor leaders M. established a new CGT - 'Force Ouvriere' ( 'workforce'), as chairman of this organization, he defended the idea of the United States of Europe, the unification of the labor movement, raising living standards.
To celebrate the peace of merit M. in 1951. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As the representative of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Gunnar Jahn, M. 'not known oscillations in the struggle for the implementation of the goals he set for himself in his youth: the creation of the foundations of peace, belonging to all, without exception, where there will be no place for war'. Surprised and deeply touched by the selection committee, M. admitted in his Nobel lecture: "I even had no idea that the owner of this great reward I'm going, because it must belong to the whole trade union movement '. After a lengthy review of the European labor movement, which often contain personal assessment, F. expressed confidence that 'free trade unions should play an important role in the fight against international crisis, for the occurrence of genuine peace. Scope of work is enormous, and it may be rivaled only by its urgency. Our movement wants to devote effort to this task, regardless of any costs'. The decision of the Nobel Committee welcomed the political and labor leaders throughout the world, George Mini called it 'a source of inspiration and joy for all who believe in the possibility of human freedom'.
Following a severe heart attack F. died in Paris on April 28, 1954, until his death he continued to work in CGT - 'Force Ouvriere' and Economic Council. His successor in the 'Force Ouvriere' Robert Botero often recalled the days when J. 'taciturn young man who usually sat on the back benches in the National Committee of the CGT ... He rarely took the floor, but when it happened, the clarity and strength of his mind were manifested from the first words'. 'Life of J. - said Botero - is inseparable from the history of the trade union movement'.


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Jouhaux (Jouhaux), Leon, photo, biography
Jouhaux (Jouhaux), Leon, photo, biography Jouhaux (Jouhaux), Leon  French business leader, Nobel Peace Prize, 1951, photo, biography
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