Matignon Agreement

The Matignon Agreement: What It Means and Why It`s Important

In 1936, France was in turmoil. The country was riven by political divisions, and strikes and protests had become a regular occurrence. Against this backdrop, the Matignon Agreement was signed, marking a crucial moment in the country`s history.

But what exactly was the Matignon Agreement, and why is it important? Here`s a closer look.

What is the Matignon Agreement?

The Matignon Agreement was a pact signed on June 7, 1936, between the French government and the trade unions. It was named after the Hotel Matignon, the official residence of the French Prime Minister at the time.

The agreement was signed in the aftermath of the 1936 general strike, which had been called by the unions to demand better working conditions and higher wages for French workers. The strike had brought the country to a standstill and had forced the government to negotiate with the unions.

The Matignon Agreement addressed many of the workers` demands. It included a 15% increase in wages, a 40-hour workweek, paid vacations for workers, and the recognition of trade unions by employers. It also established a system of collective bargaining between workers and employers.

Why is the Matignon Agreement important?

The Matignon Agreement was a turning point in French labor history. It marked the first time that the government and the trade unions had come together to negotiate a comprehensive labor agreement.

The agreement also had wider implications for French society as a whole. By improving working conditions and wages for workers, it helped to reduce social inequality and improve the living standards of ordinary people.

Moreover, the Matignon Agreement paved the way for further labor reforms in France. It set a precedent for the government`s role in protecting workers` rights and established a framework for future collective bargaining.

In the years that followed, the Matignon Agreement remained a symbol of progress and social reform in France. It was often cited by labor activists and politicians as an example of what could be achieved through negotiation and compromise.


The Matignon Agreement was a seminal moment in French labor history. It represented a milestone in the struggle for workers` rights and helped to shape the direction of French society in the years that followed.

Though the world has changed immensely since 1936, the Matignon Agreement remains an important reminder of the power of collective action and the need for governments to protect the interests of their citizens.