Dans le cadre des recherches menées au sein du programme Time-Us, Manuela Martini (Larhra – Université Lyon 2) et Anne Montenach (Telemme – Université Aix-Marseille) ont participé à l’ «European Social Science History Conference» qui s’est tenue à Belfast du 4 au 7 avril 2018. En collaboration avec Ariadne Schmidt (Leiden University), elles ont organisé la session “Women’s wages and time allocation in Western Europe during pre-industrial times (16th-Early 20th Centuries)”, durant laquelle elles ont proposé chacune une analyse des processus de fixation des salaires – et des conflits et négociations qui en découlent – ainsi qu’une réflexion sur la division du travail entre hommes et femmes au sein de la Fabrique lyonnaise, entre la fin du XVIIème et la fin du XIXème siècle.
Anne Montenach a présenté un papier intitule «“The Bazar Economy of Trades” : gender and wage systems in the late Seventeeth and Eighteenth-century textile industry »:
“In Lyon, at the end of the eighteenth century women formed a major part of the workforce. The silk industry (Grande Fabrique) employed up to 35,000 workers in 1788 and relied heavily on female labour, despite the fact that women’s right to work was regularly challenged by urban guilds (Garden, 1970; Cayez, 1978; Juratic and Pellegrin, 1994; Hafter, 1995 and 2007). While the spouses and daughters of masters, who numbered around 4,000 at the end of the eighteenth century, had special privileges allowing them to weave outside of family workshops, up to 19,000 ancillary workers – women and children carrying out most of the other tasks – were underpaid to do exhausting work. As D. Hafter notes, ‘all our statistics about eighteenth- century employment in Lyon are skewed by the deficiencies in our knowledge of women’s production and wages’ (Hafter, 1995: 46). Thus there is still considerable work to be done in order to reconstruct the gender characteristics of wage forms and wage systems in early modern textile manufacturing. From this perspective, this paper will concentrate on massive but still underexploited sources, namely the Lyon guild records of infringements which offer a vast array of small-scale wage conflicts. These 53 volumes for the 114-year period 1667-1781 will help us to highlight the various forms of wage-payment which, according to M. Sonenscher, ‘owed more to the bazaar economy of the trades than to the prescription of the law’ (Sonenscher, 1989: 174), and their evolution during the long eighteenth century. In order to understand better this ‘face to face economy’, embedded in social and gender norms, and to shed light on the gender-based asymmetry of wage systems, a particular attention will be paid to the precise nature of the work that was undertaken, to the impact of negotiation on wage and tariffs formation, and to the agency that both male and female workers of various familial and professional positions could develop – or not – in the labour market.”
Manuela Martini a présenté une communication intitulée “Gendered division of work and wage conflict in the Lyon silk trades at the end of the 19th century”:
« Workshops and factories lastingly coexisted in the 19th century Lyon textile production system. In the second half of the century the urban silk industry system’s crisis and the gradual shift to the countryside, especially with the expansion of the factory system, did not lead to an immediate liquidation and abrupt substitution of workshop production. High-quality handmade production remained profitable. Master craftsmen and their wives continued to produce specialized fabrics without mechanization in their workshops through a process of workforce reduction, feminization of labour, and increase in the family dimension along paired with a reduction in male co-resident employees in the workshop. One of the conditions of this “resistance” of craft production was the importance of a skilled female workforce.
This shift and the massive presence of women also in countryside factories make the case of Lyon especially compelling for the study of wage differentials and wage conflicts in the second half of the 19th century. Questioning quantitative data and exploring qualitative sources produced both by textile workers and public officers, this paper addresses three interconnected issues: the mechanisms of tariffs’ construction, the conflicts arising around men’s and women’s wages, and the changing contribution of women’s wages to their family incomes. »