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Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (Trade union, Spain)

CNT, National Confederation of Labour

Last modified: 2016-06-07 by ivan sache
Keywords: confederación nacional del trabajo |
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Flag and logo of the CNT - Images by Eugene Ipavec & Esteban Rivera, 5 October 2010 and John Kalwai, 10 June 2004, respectively


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Presentation of the CNT

The CNT is an anarcho-syndicalist union, still the only union in Spain to have barging power but refuse government funds.
The CNT was established in 1910 in Barcelona as a counter balance of the Socialist UGT. Its stronghold was Catalonia, and the union had 30,000 members. In 1927, under the rule of Primo de Rivera, anarchistic affinity groups merged, establishing the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) in order to avoid moderate tendencies within the CNT.
In the beginning a supporter of the second Spanish Republic, the CNT very soon faced governmental repression. During insurrections in the early 1930s, the government overpowered demonstrations brutally; several demonstrators were killed in the Casas Viejas Incident. During the next years the CNT expanded to Aragón and Andalusia. After right-wing parties had won the elections of 1934, the CNT raised an insurrection, which was overpowered, 30,000 activists being imprisoned. Most left wing supporters thought the CNT was responsible for their defeat in the 1934 elections, because their members boycotted the elections. In 1936 left-wing parties won the elections, promising a general amnesty for imprisoned activists. The CNT supported the People's Front government.

At the beginning of the Civil War the CNT gained de facto control of Catalonia. There, as well as in other parts of the country, the CNT consequently tried to abolish private property (collectivization) as per Communist theory.
During the Civil War, membership of thre CNT was about 2 million. Under Franco’s rule, the CNT was banned and its property was confiscated. After Franco’s death, it was re-established but without regaining its former importance. Today the CGT, which seceded from the CNT, is the most important anarchist group.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 June 2009


Flag of the CNT

The CNT is a member of the Asociación Internacional de los Trabajadores (AIT). The flag of CNT is divided per bend into red and black - the generic anarcho-syndicalist flag -, with the white letters "CNT" In the upper hoist and "AIT" in the lower fly.

António Martins & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 June 2009


CNT during the Civil War

CNT-AIT

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Flag and emblem of the CNT-AIT - Images by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 June 2009

During the siege of Porto Cristo (Mallorca, Balearic Islands) on 16 August 1936, the CNT-AIT used a squarish flag, divided per bend red and black. In the upper hoist is the white logo of the CNT, showing a naked man wrestling a lion, the whole surrounded by branches of laurel and topped by the letters "CNT". In the lower fly is the white diagonal inscription "AIT". The flag has a countercharged bordure separated by a white tressure from the inner parts.
The flag is shown in the Military Museum of Palma de Mallorca.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 June 2009


CNT-FAI

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Flag of the CNT-AIT - Images by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 June 2009

During the siege of Porto Cristo (Mallorca, Balearic Islands) on 16 August 1936, the CNT-AIT used a squarish flag, divided per bend black and red. In the upper hoist is the white inscription "CNT" and in the lower fly the black inscription "FAI".
The flag is shown in the Military Museum of Palma de Mallorca.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 23 June 2009