The Labor Question in Colonial Cyprus, 1936-1941: Political Stakes in a Battle of Denominations
Title: The Labor Question in Colonial Cyprus, 1936-1941: Political Stakes in a Battle of Denominations
Author: RAPPAS, Alexis
Citation: International Labor and Working-Class History, 2009, 76, 1, 194-216
Taking as a starting point two strikes in colonial Cyprus in the 1930s––the miners’ strike in 1936 in which both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots were involved and the all-female spinners’ strike in 1938––this paper looks at how the labor movement deeply transformed the political landscape of the island. In a society closely monitored by British colonial authorities and well acquainted with the Greek-Cypriot claim for Enosis, or the political union of Cyprus with Greece, the labor question became a locus, or “interstice of power structure,” articulating competing and mutually exclusive visions of Cyprus as a polity. More generally the paper investigates the modalities of formation of a collective group allegiance in a context of constraint.
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