On this day in 1919, a general strike broke out in Catalonia when thousands of workers across multiple industries went out on strike, causing widespread power outages and the Spanish government to declare a state of war.
The strike was initiated after an energy company, La Canadenca, reduced wages and fired over one hundred striking workers who were protesting the pay cuts. This and the curbing of labor rights prompted the rest of the workers at La Canadenca to go on strike and demand the readmission of those sacked and wage increases.
The labor stoppage soon spread to other companies in the sector via the CNT’s union for water, gas and electricity workers. The lack of electricity in the city affected transport, hampering the provision of supplies and paralyzing 70% of factories in the province of Barcelona.
A state of war was declared by the government and over 3,000 workers were detained. Despite this, the strike ended after two days on the conditions of no repercussions for participating workers, a wage increase, and an 8 hour work day.