Zeitschrift Aufsätze

Heidi Althaus

The Strike of the Bayreuth Bricklayer and Carpenter Journeymen

The journeymen of the Bayreuth construction trade downed tools at the beginning of May 1800 in order to enforce a raise of their daily wages. The local police investigated the strike, trying to find the leaders of the protest. In the interrogations the journeymen declared that they had obeyed a general agreement; they had been recommended this by their master craftsmen. This claim was not verified by the police.

In addition, the bricklayer and carpenter journeymen stated that the strike was also directed against their masters, who had not been paying the usual wages. In fact however, the masters were paying wages that had been set by the local authorities; as a result, the strike was understood to be directed against the administration, which was penalized by the then-existing laws. However, the jorneymen were not prosecuted, since the police came to the conclusion that the strike was rather an internal dispute between the masters and the journeymen; moreover, they were unable to isolate a single leader of the strike, while prosecuting all participating journeymen would have endangered the construction trade altogether.

During the strike, the journeymen were assembled in their lodgings to await the decisions of the competent authority (the "Kriegs- und Domänenkammer") on the future wages and to avoid any additional public attention. Finally, before any decision was made, they returned to work.


Aufsatz vom 10. Dezember 1997
© 1997 fhi
ISSN: 1860-5605
10. Dezember 1997