The Movement of the Unemployed

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 23, 2010

Since companies laid off primarily anticapitalist workers, the out-of-work quickly organized en masse in Unemployed Councils. The shifting of power within the FAUD from the Industrial Federations to the Workers’ Communities [Arbeitsbörsen] helped make possible the union’s participation in this movement, since it also occupied itself with the new conditions of the labor market after turning away from the trade union movement.

At the last Congress in 1932 the question of the Unemployed Movement gained a place among the central themes of the Anarcho-syndicalists. In many places the FAUD was already actively participating in demonstrations of the unemployed and organized mutual aid and counselling. Thus, out of the original trade union movement, whose chief weapon was the strike, came a consumption-oriented organization armed with the threat of the boycott.