Although paid leave was not legally granted in France until 1936, working-class holidays became a political issue as well as a social practice around 1900. Convinced that workers also had a right to what had hitherto been a bourgeois privilege, adult education centres (“the people’s universities) began to set up working-class holiday camps. Anarchists used this opportunity to establish independent communes, while Socialist MPs proposed a bill, in 1906, that would grant paid holidays to all workers. In order to describe this multi-pronged mobilisation, we must not only outline the tangible form taken by working-class holidays and the role that they played amidst the struggle that sought to determine the most legitimate form of popular action, but also the new social issues that such holidays raised, starting with the question of workers’ autonomy within the organisation of labour practices.
- holiday camps