National Labor Secretariat

National Labor Secretariat

National Labor Secretariat

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The National Labor Secretariat (; NAS) was a trade union federation in the Netherlands from 1893 to 1940.

Early years

In the late 1880s and early 1890s the idea that trade unions should no longer be branches of the Social Democratic League (SDB), as they had been up to this point, became increasingly influential. In 1893, the NAS was thus founded. At first, it encompassed both the SDB and the seven unions involved in its founding - the Cigarmakers and Tobacco Workers' Federation, Typographers' Federation, the Furnituremakers' Federation, the Brushmakers' Federation, the Carpenters' Federation, the Brushmakers' Federation, the Diamond Workers' Federation, and the railway union Steeds Voorwaarts. The NAS was declaredly politically neutral, but in practice it was dominated by the SDB. After the SDB split into the revolutionary Socialist League and the parliamentary Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP) in 1894, both remained members and the NAS did not get involved in the conflict between them, but the relations between the NAS and the parties soon deteriorated to the point that in 1896 both the Socialist League and the SDAP were expelled from the NAS, leaving only unions in the organization.

By 1896 thirteen national and 16 local unions were part of the NAS. Conflict soon ensued over the distribution of financial means within the NAS. All unions in the federation had one vote, no matter what their size, but financial contributions to the...
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