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Léon Jouhaux

Léon Jouhaux
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (1951)

Léon Jouhaux (July 1, 1879 – April 28, 1954) was a French trade union leader who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1951.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Legacy 2
  • Quotation 3
  • References 4


Jouhaux was born in Pantin, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. Jouhaux's father worked in a match factory in Aubervilliers. His secondary schooling ended when his father's earnings were stopped by a strike. He gained employment at the factory at age sixteen and immediately became an important part of the union. In 1900, Jouhaux joined a strike against the use of the white phosphorus that blinded his father, was dismissed, and worked at a succession of jobs until union influence saw him reinstated.

In 1906, he was elected by the local union as a representative to the trade unionist were the familiar ones of the early labour movement — the eight hour day, the right to union representation and collective bargaining, and paid holidays. During the Popular Front, the 1936 Matignon Agreement, to which he was a signatory, awarded many of these rights to French workers.

In the years before Nazi Germany victory would led to the destruction of democracy in Europe. During the war, he was arrested and imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp.

After the war, Jouhaux split from the CGT to form the social-democrat Workers' Force (CGT-FO). In 1951, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.[1]

In an international context, his work was instrumental in the setting up of the World Federation of Trade Unions until that body split.

On his passing in 1954, Léon Jouhaux was interred in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.



"I would not go so far as to say that the French trade unions attached greater importance to the struggle for peace than the others did; but they certainly seemed to take it more to heart." Léon Jouhaux[8]


  1. ^ a b Nobel Committee information on Jouhaux
  2. ^ Aix Google Map
  3. ^ Grenoble Google Map
  4. ^ Lyon Google Map
  5. ^ Genas Google Map
  6. ^ Villefranche-sur-Saône Google Map
  7. ^ Paris Google Map
  8. ^ Léon Jouhaux Quotations
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