Decree on convening workers trade councils

Journal officiel de la République française , 17 April 1871

The Paris Commune,

Considering that a number of factories have been abandoned by those who were running them in order to escape civic obligations and without taking into account the interests of workers;

Considering that as a result of this cowardly desertion, many works essential to communal life find themselves disrupted, the livelihood of workers compromised.


Workers trade councils [chambres syndicales ouvrières] are convened to establish a commission of inquiry with the purpose:

1. To compile statistics on abandoned workshops, as well as an inventory of their condition and of the work instruments they contain.

2. To present a report on the practical requisites for the prompt restarting of these workshops, not by the deserters who abandoned them but by the co-operative association of the workers who were employed there.

3. To develop a constitution for these workers’ co-operative societies.

4. To establish an arbitration panel which shall decide, on the return of said employers, on the conditions for the permanent transfer of the workshops to the workers’ societies and on the amount of the compensation the societies shall pay the employers.

This commission of inquiry must send its report to the Communal Commission on Labour and Exchange, which will be required to present to the Commune, as soon as possible, the draft of a decree satisfying the interests of the Commune and the workers.

16 April 1871