June 19, 1968: end of the occupation of the Berliet group's largest factory

June 19, 1968: end of the occupation of the Berliet group's largest factory

During the events of May 1968, the Lyon workers' movement occupied the factories. Among them, the Berliet automobile production sites alone accounted for 15% of the workforce in Lyon's industrial environment.

A local strike movement already underway since March 1967 was a precursor to the national movements of May 1968. On March 17, 1967, 500 workers, employees and technicians stormed the Berliet factory. In January 1968, 3,000 workers went on a so-called "bonus" strike, because until then they had been paid by the job. Negotiations were concluded on May 16, 1968, the day before the conflict that shook the nation. It was the CGT that occupied the factory until 19 June, i.e. for a month!

The workers went back to work on June 19, singing the International.

"Berliet" transformed into "freedom" by the strikers on the E gate of the Vénissieux factory. Credit: IHS Rhône, excerpt from "Lyon 68 - Two Decades of Protest" ed Lieux Dits

"Berliet" transformed into "freedom" by the strikers on the E gate of the Vénissieux factory. Credit: IHS Rhône, excerpt from "Lyon 68 - Two Decades of Protest" ed Lieux Dits