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Unity Trade Union Centre (EVC) 1943-1948

Collection former Stichting Film en Wetenschap / E. Nijhof
Time period: 1943-1948
Number of interviews: 8 (10 people)
Accessibility: For research purposes
Transcripts: Summaries
Period of interviews: 1972

The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization can, however, be requested from Sound & Vision via: 


In DAAN, het the digital archive of Sound & Vision the following item can be found: Niet Bekend – 19823, an interview from 1958 where Benno Stokvis, former member of the CPN speaks about the EVC


Title: De Eenheidevakcentrale EVC 1943-1948

Authors: Paul Coomans, Truike de Jonge, Erik Nijhof

Originally: doctoral thesis

ISBN : 9789001390167

In 1944, the groundwork was laid for an entirely new trade union organization, the Eenheidsvakbeweging (EVB), later renamed Eenheids Vakcentrale (EVC). This was an initiative of the underground leadership of the Communist Party of the Netherlands (CPN), which had played an important role in the resistance and hoped that it would be able to convert the respect gained as a result into key positions in postwar society. The EVC opposed the colonial war and unsuccessfully sought to organize a strike against it.


Besides participating in a progressive government, the CPN also envisioned a supporting role in a renewed trade union movement, in which the old philosophical divisions would be overcome for the sake of the common struggle for optimal working conditions.


For this purpose, 10 persons were interviewed:

  • A. van den Berg and N. Oosterwijk, both strike leaders
  • W. Drees, member of parliament and prime minister. See also an interview with him from the Indonesia Politics collection
  • H. Drenth, active with the Dutch Trade Union Confederation and during his lifetime a member of several left-wing political parties, including the Revolutionary Communist Party
  • J. van Es and E. Sip
  • W. van Exter, former member of the CPN
  • H. Gortzak, former chairman of the CPN factions in the Lower House and the Amsterdam City Council
  • D. Kleinsma, a former chief executive of the EVC and E. Sip
  • L. van Os, strike leader


For more information on the interviews and interviewees, see: SFW Working Edition no. 8 (1995), pp. 4, 15, 16, 18, 19, 24, 29, 35.

For further historical context see: Evert Smit, “Havenartiesten in actie. Het mobilisatieproces bij wilde stakingen in de Rotterdamse haven” in Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift 21:3 (1994)