Edmond Maire

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Edmond Maire
Edmond Maire par Claude Truong-Ngoc.jpeg
Edmond Maire in 1978
Born(1931-01-24)24 January 1931
Died1 October 2017(2017-10-01) (aged 86)
EducationCollège-lycée Jacques-Decour
Alma materConservatoire national des arts et métiers
OccupationNational Secretary of the CFDT (1971-1988)
ChildrenJacques Maire

Edmond Maire (French pronunciation: ​[ɛdmɔ̃ mɛʁ]; 24 January 1931 – 1 October 2017) was a French labor union leader. He was the secretary general of the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) from 1971 to 1988. He was dismissive of strike actions and supported a more equal division of labour.

Early life[edit]

Edmond Maire was born on 24 January 1931 in Épinay-sur-Seine near Paris.[1][2][3] His father was a railroad employee for the SNCF at the Gare du Nord, and his mother was a housewife.[1] He was raised as a devout Roman Catholic alongside six siblings.[1]

Maire was educated at the Collège-lycée Jacques-Decour in Paris and did not go to university.[1] He began working at 18 and took evening classes in chemistry at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers.[1] He subsequently did his military service.[1]


Maire began his career as a chemist for Pechiney in Aubervilliers near Paris.[1] He quit his job to focus on activism. After he retired from the CFDT, he became the chief executive of Villages Vacances Familles, a chain of affordable holiday villages later known as Belambra Clubs.[2]


Maire first joined the French Confederation of Christian Workers in 1954.[1][2] In 1964, he was a co-founder of a secular splinter group, the French Democratic Confederation of Labour.[3][2] Maire succeeded Eugène Descamps as the secretary general of the CFDT from 1971 to 1988.[1][2][3] He took on a more centrist approach, which led more left-wing labour leaders like Jacques Julliard to criticize him.[4] For example, Maire dismissed strike actions as "old labour mythology."[4] Instead, he was a proponent of a more equal division of labour.[4] In 1981, he complained that French public intellectuals were not sufficiently supportive of his efforts.[5] He was succeeded by Jean Kaspar.[2][3]

Maire joined the Socialist Party in 1974.[2][2] He was close to Pierre Mendès France, Michel Rocard and Jacques Delors.[5] He was a supporter of the 35-hour workweek passed by the Socialist government under Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in 2000.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Maire died on 1 October 2017.[1][2][3] One of his sons, Jacques Maire, is a member of the National Assembly for En Marche![3]

Upon his death, Muriel Pénicaud, the French Minister of Labour, tweeted that Maire "transformed and inspired industrial relations."[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Noblecourt, Michel (1 October 2017). "Mort d'Edmond Maire, ancien secrétaire général de la CFDT". Le Monde. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Décès d'Edmond Maire, ancien secrétaire général de la CFDT". Le Figaro. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Décès d'Edmond Maire, ancien secrétaire général de la CFDT". Libération. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Béroud, Sophie; Mouriaux, René (2001). "La CFDT en quête de refondation sociale". mouvements. 2 (14): 83–89. doi:10.3917/mouv.014.0083 – via Cairn.info.
  5. ^ a b Daniel, Jean (1983). "L'Heure des intellectuels". Le Débat. 5 (27): 168–180. doi:10.3917/deba.027.0168 – via Cairn.info.