1960–61 Winter General Strike
General Strike of the winter of 1960–1961, known as the Strike of the Century (French: Grève du Siècle), was a major series of strikes in Belgium which began on 14 December 1960 and lasted approximately six weeks. The strike was instigated by the militant General Federation of Belgian Labour (FGTB-ABVV) trade union against an attempt by the government of Gaston Eyskens to resolve the problems in the public finances by introducing a series of austerity measures known as the Loi Unique or Eenheidswet. Although the strike began across Belgium, it soon lost momentum in Flanders where workers returned to work after a few days, leaving those in Wallonia on their own. The strike is considered a key moment for the Walloon Movement and an influence on the formation of Walloon identity and led to the foundation of Renardism which linked Walloon identity with syndicalism. The strike also led to the creation of the pro-federalist Mouvement populaire wallon (MPW) in 1961 and an increasing polarization between Flemish and Walloons which culminated, from the late 1960s, in the Linguistic Wars and, ultimately, in Belgium's gradual transformation into a federal state.
The 1983 film Winter 1960 is based on the strike.
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