Opening the Gates

Opening the Gates:The Lip Affair, 1968–1981

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How the occupation of a watch factory became one of the iconic labour struggles after May 1968

In the Summer of 1973, workers occupied the Lip watch and clock factory, sparking a national cause and controversy. The Lip occupation and self-management experience captured the imagination of the Left in France and internationally, as a living example of the spirit of May '68. In Opening the Gates, Donald Reid chronicles the history of this struggle. Beginning with the early stirrings of worker radicalism in 1968, Reid’s meticulously researched narrative details the nationally publicised conflict of 1973, the second bankruptcy and occupation of 1976 and the conversion of Lip into a group of cooperatives operating into the 1980s.

Reviews

  • Compelling

    John HarrisGuardian
  • Donald Reid’s magisterial reconstruction of the Lip “affair” of the 1970s restores a crucial and neglected storyline about the long 1968.

    Julian Bourg, Boston UniversityH-France Salon
  • Donald Reid’s book, carefully documented with a mass of detail, is to be welcomed for reminding us of an enthralling page from working-class history.

    Ian Birchallrs21