MARSEILLES, Nov. 20 — A general walkout of the Marseilles railroad men this afternoon brought the number of strikers in this port city up to 100,000 and halted all rail communication with other cities.
The strike was declared at 4 p.m. and it left thousands of passengers to and from the Riviera and Italy via Vintimille stranded. Only suburban trains continued to run but this service too was scheduled to stop at midnight.
The railroadmen, who decided on a strike by 6,150 votes to 950, are demanding immediate payment of the CGT’s (General Labor Confederation) minimum subsistence wage and wage increases recently granted to workers in private industries.
Work ceased today in several mines in the coal district of the Bouches-du-Rhône Department, while the workers in the flour mills of the department, who came under a government order requisitioning the mills and the personnel, refused to obey the order.
The postal workers started a ballot tonight to decide whether they should go on strike or not. A ballot taken among the primary school teachers resulted in a small majority against a strike. Shipping office employees will vote tomorrow by secret ballot whether to go on strike.
Meanwhile, soldiers and sailors continued to unload ships in the harbor. The American Consul here intervened with members of the crew of the American freighter Empire State to get them to allow French troops to carry out their orders. Nearly 600 out of the 4,300 tons of flour on the Empire State have been unloaded.
— The New York Herald, European Edition, Nov. 21, 1947