Political interests

A political weft is closely associated with this major event in the history of Carmaux.
The humiliation imposed by the miners and the glassworkers in 1892 on the Marquis de Solages and on the baron Reille was in all memories: that of the victory of the proletariat by the election of Jean-Baptiste Calvignac, miner in the office of mayor of Carmaux.

Those who were afraid of Jaurès, and those who wished to shoot him down have to impose themself at first in Jaurès’ district. They should imposed a defeat as symbolic as the defeat that Jaurès gave to them. But in this time the political situation changed. In 1893, the right steered with the laws of repression. The majority of Alexandre Ribot (50th president of council of French Ministers and Foreign Secretary until January 11th, 1893 then Home Secretary), in particular, had switch off several times the effective “fire” of Jaurès. No indulgence for him. Jaurès was the most dangerous enemy.
To strike Carmaux, to humble and to force its voters to fold knees, it was to hurt Jaurès, and to obtain so his electoral defeat. Jaurès chased away by the Chamber by the universal suffrage, it was better than a temporary censorship voted by the majority of deputies. So that was the project of the conservatives in Carmaux.

Since January 1894, the prefect Pierre Ernest Doux, who succeeded to Léon Bourgeois (the sub-prefect of Castres) tried to break the local socialist movements. This last one supported not only political directives (a circular of October, 1894 of president of council Dupuy asked the prefects to fight against the socialism) but also the political police strengthened after the attack of Vaillant in the Chamber, then called " special police of railroads ". Spies and agents are recruited on the spot/place.

It was in this context that the strike of the glassworkers was instrumented in political purposes.

In 1895 Eugène Rességuier, major shareholder of the Glass factory and his managing director, failed twice in the general election in Toulouse, as republican candidate, beaten by the socialists and the radicals-socialists. He was closely bound in the prefectorial authorities in particular in the new prefect of the Tarn, Pierre Ernest Doux.
In front of this strike of the glassworkers, the local employer considered that it was time to take back the control of the city hall of Carmaux, cantons and the parliamentary seat. The opportunity was important because Calvignac had just been invalidated for a commonplace affair of revision of electoral rolls. He was replaced by Jean-François Mazens on January 6th, 1895. This last one had to insure the temporary work (interim) till the end of the suspension of Calvignac, as it had been advisable. However, in April, 1895, convinced by the prefect, Mazens refused to make way for Calvignac. Worse, further to the violent altercation which followed its refusal to resign, he lodged a complaint against Calvignac and against the local councillor Marien Baudot, for contempt of court in the exercise of his duties. In May Jean-Baptiste Calvignac and Baudot were doomed to 40 days of reprieves and, especially, five years of ineligibility (The punishment was confirmed on June 27th in appeal).

In spite of this ineligibility the socialist camp chose Calvignac and Baudot (secretary of the Labor union (Syndicate) of the glassworkers) as candidates for the elections of the General Council and the Council of the District. They were elected on July 28th, 1895.
It was in these conditions that Baudot was suspended by the Glass factory Sainte-Clotilde.

To divide the socialist union activists and restart the activity of the Glass factory Sainte-Clotilde, Eugène Rességuier proceeded, in the end of August 1895, in an individual recruitment in Carmaux, coupled with a roll call of candidacy in whole France. But the glassworkers remained united and on October 15th, only 8 blowers agreed to take back the work. In the term of a month of conflict 67 to 80 workers received the insurance of the Direction to be rehired, after having negotiated the individual contracts. The organization of the labor union (syndicate), but especially the incomparable solidarity of the glassworkers held the boss in check.

Only an oven was able to be relight at the end of September. Especially as it is the most qualified workers who remained the most inflexible. Moreover Michel Aucouturier, glassworker, promised : "if ever there was an oven of relight which if they are some idlers to go to work, in vain we would make gendarmes come and soldiers; in spite of sabres and bayonets, we would stop them and it at all costs ".

The complicity of the boss with law enforcement, materialized by the intervention since the beginning of the conflict of 25 gendarmes were sent on the spot to make rise the tension by provoking the strike committee. The objective was to push the glassworkers to the fault what would compromise them with the eyes of whole France, and their spokesman Jean Jaurès too. So, at the beginning of October, one of the most active members of the strike action, Michel Aucouturier, glassworker, was sentenced for four mouths of prison and 5000 francs of fine (heavy financial penalty in the time) to have threatened the workers who would hire at Rességuier.

October 15th, 1895, it was the turn of treasurer of the strike committee to be arrested for "obstacle in the working freedom": with the funds of the box (cash register), he persuaded workers hired in other regions to go back at their home. Police captain accused Jaurès himself of being behind the operation while member of parliament Gérault-Richard, Arthur Groussier and All Saints’ Day were also on-the-spot. A judicial information was opened to Albi, administrative center of the prefecture. The travel of on-the-spot investigating judge was planned.
However the efforts of Rességuier were not enough to keep the factory open.

In front of the intransigence of the boss, the strikers, supported by Jaurès and diverse donors, envisaged the creation of a new Glass factory; a Glass factory belonging to the proletariat of France: “it is not by the heavy dullness of a central bureaucracy that will be replaced the capitalist privilege. But the nation, invested (surrounded) with the labor and sovereign law of property, will have organs without number, municipalities, cooperatives, labor unions, which will give to the social property the most supple and the most free movement, which will harmonize with the mobility and the infinite variety of the individual strengths” wrote. the deputy. The glassworkers of Carmaux became a national symbol.
Subscriptions were thrown in all the country to establish the capital which is divided into 5000 100-franc shares. A generous donor, Mrs Dembourg put back a 100 000-franc sum, which allowed the purchase of the ground. The history will retain that the sum arrived by messenger in a suitcase accompanied with a word " Take everything but return me the suitcase! ". In her honor, the glassworkers asked gave her name to the avenue leading to the Glass factory.

The construction was slow and difficult, enamelled by enormous sacrifices, because the glassworkers acted themselves as masons and as carpenters but this Glass factory was theirs. Finally, in October, 1896, the Labor Glass factory of Albi (VOA) could began to produce. By its statuses and the method of allocation of its shares, the factory belongs to the whole French proletariat s, unique event in the French economic and social history.

It was only in 1931, that the VOA became a labor co-operative of production. In Carmaux, the same year, the Sainte-Clotilde glass factory closed definitively its doors. The VOA exists and shines even nowadays with the realization, in 2012, with a strong figure of 99 million euro.

Today the Museum/Center of Art Glass - Carmaux suggests to rediscover this history of the French industrial heritage.

Political interests

A political weft is closely associated with this major event in the history of Carmaux.
The humiliation imposed by the miners and the glassworkers in 1892 on the Marquis de Solages and on the baron Reille was in all memories: that of the victory of the proletariat by the election of Jean-Baptiste Calvignac, miner in the office of mayor of Carmaux.

Those who were afraid of Jaurès, and those who wished to shoot him down have to impose themself at first in Jaurès’ district. They should imposed a defeat as symbolic as the defeat that Jaurès gave to them. But in this time the political situation changed. In 1893, the right steered with the laws of repression. The majority of Alexandre Ribot (50th president of council of French Ministers and Foreign Secretary until January 11th, 1893 then Home Secretary), in particular, had switch off several times the effective “fire” of Jaurès. No indulgence for him. Jaurès was the most dangerous enemy.
To strike Carmaux, to humble and to force its voters to fold knees, it was to hurt Jaurès, and to obtain so his electoral defeat. Jaurès chased away by the Chamber by the universal suffrage, it was better than a temporary censorship voted by the majority of deputies. So that was the project of the conservatives in Carmaux.

Since January 1894, the prefect Pierre Ernest Doux, who succeeded to Léon Bourgeois (the sub-prefect of Castres) tried to break the local socialist movements. This last one supported not only political directives (a circular of October, 1894 of president of council Dupuy asked the prefects to fight against the socialism) but also the political police strengthened after the attack of Vaillant in the Chamber, then called " special police of railroads ". Spies and agents are recruited on the spot/place.

It was in this context that the strike of the glassworkers was instrumented in political purposes.

In 1895 Eugène Rességuier, major shareholder of the Glass factory and his managing director, failed twice in the general election in Toulouse, as republican candidate, beaten by the socialists and the radicals-socialists. He was closely bound in the prefectorial authorities in particular in the new prefect of the Tarn, Pierre Ernest Doux.
In front of this strike of the glassworkers, the local employer considered that it was time to take back the control of the city hall of Carmaux, cantons and the parliamentary seat. The opportunity was important because Calvignac had just been invalidated for a commonplace affair of revision of electoral rolls. He was replaced by Jean-François Mazens on January 6th, 1895. This last one had to insure the temporary work (interim) till the end of the suspension of Calvignac, as it had been advisable. However, in April, 1895, convinced by the prefect, Mazens refused to make way for Calvignac. Worse, further to the violent altercation which followed its refusal to resign, he lodged a complaint against Calvignac and against the local councillor Marien Baudot, for contempt of court in the exercise of his duties. In May Jean-Baptiste Calvignac and Baudot were doomed to 40 days of reprieves and, especially, five years of ineligibility (The punishment was confirmed on June 27th in appeal).

In spite of this ineligibility the socialist camp chose Calvignac and Baudot (secretary of the Labor union (Syndicate) of the glassworkers) as candidates for the elections of the General Council and the Council of the District. They were elected on July 28th, 1895.
It was in these conditions that Baudot was suspended by the Glass factory Sainte-Clotilde.

To divide the socialist union activists and restart the activity of the Glass factory Sainte-Clotilde, Eugène Rességuier proceeded, in the end of August 1895, in an individual recruitment in Carmaux, coupled with a roll call of candidacy in whole France. But the glassworkers remained united and on October 15th, only 8 blowers agreed to take back the work. In the term of a month of conflict 67 to 80 workers received the insurance of the Direction to be rehired, after having negotiated the individual contracts. The organization of the labor union (syndicate), but especially the incomparable solidarity of the glassworkers held the boss in check.

Only an oven was able to be relight at the end of September. Especially as it is the most qualified workers who remained the most inflexible. Moreover Michel Aucouturier, glassworker, promised : "if ever there was an oven of relight which if they are some idlers to go to work, in vain we would make gendarmes come and soldiers; in spite of sabres and bayonets, we would stop them and it at all costs ".

The complicity of the boss with law enforcement, materialized by the intervention since the beginning of the conflict of 25 gendarmes were sent on the spot to make rise the tension by provoking the strike committee. The objective was to push the glassworkers to the fault what would compromise them with the eyes of whole France, and their spokesman Jean Jaurès too. So, at the beginning of October, one of the most active members of the strike action, Michel Aucouturier, glassworker, was sentenced for four mouths of prison and 5000 francs of fine (heavy financial penalty in the time) to have threatened the workers who would hire at Rességuier.

October 15th, 1895, it was the turn of treasurer of the strike committee to be arrested for "obstacle in the working freedom": with the funds of the box (cash register), he persuaded workers hired in other regions to go back at their home. Police captain accused Jaurès himself of being behind the operation while member of parliament Gérault-Richard, Arthur Groussier and All Saints’ Day were also on-the-spot. A judicial information was opened to Albi, administrative center of the prefecture. The travel of on-the-spot investigating judge was planned.
However the efforts of Rességuier were not enough to keep the factory open.

In front of the intransigence of the boss, the strikers, supported by Jaurès and diverse donors, envisaged the creation of a new Glass factory; a Glass factory belonging to the proletariat of France: “it is not by the heavy dullness of a central bureaucracy that will be replaced the capitalist privilege. But the nation, invested (surrounded) with the labor and sovereign law of property, will have organs without number, municipalities, cooperatives, labor unions, which will give to the social property the most supple and the most free movement, which will harmonize with the mobility and the infinite variety of the individual strengths” wrote. the deputy. The glassworkers of Carmaux became a national symbol.
Subscriptions were thrown in all the country to establish the capital which is divided into 5000 100-franc shares. A generous donor, Mrs Dembourg put back a 100 000-franc sum, which allowed the purchase of the ground. The history will retain that the sum arrived by messenger in a suitcase accompanied with a word " Take everything but return me the suitcase! ". In her honor, the glassworkers asked gave her name to the avenue leading to the Glass factory.

The construction was slow and difficult, enamelled by enormous sacrifices, because the glassworkers acted themselves as masons and as carpenters but this Glass factory was theirs. Finally, in October, 1896, the Labor Glass factory of Albi (VOA) could began to produce. By its statuses and the method of allocation of its shares, the factory belongs to the whole French proletariat s, unique event in the French economic and social history.

It was only in 1931, that the VOA became a labor co-operative of production. In Carmaux, the same year, the Sainte-Clotilde glass factory closed definitively its doors. The VOA exists and shines even nowadays with the realization, in 2012, with a strong figure of 99 million euro.

Today the Museum/Center of Art Glass - Carmaux suggests to rediscover this history of the French industrial heritage.