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Labour Movement Twente

Collection former Film and Science Foundation
Time period: 1930-1960
Number of interviews: 10
Accessibility: Restricted
Transcripts: None
Period of interviews: 1976-1978

Medium: 5 audiotapes

The interviews were conducted within the framework of the (economic and social) history doctoral theses (KUN) of the four interviewers, with as subject the labour movement and labour relations in the Twente textile industry 1930-1960. A number of interviews were conducted with several people at the same time. For instance, Duyn, Ter Haar, the Kapitein couple and Pieperiet are in one interview, as are Meijer and Tijdeman.

Almost all of them speak about the situation in the textile industry in Twente from an active position in the left-wing (trade) movement, especially NVV, NSV, NAS, EVC and OVB, whereby a strong aversion to the CPN emerges. The exception is the liberal politician Stikker, who speaks more from the position of employers than from his views on the new (post-war) forms of cooperation between employers and employees. Among other things, he was the initiator of the Labour Foundation in 1945.


Gerard Kuys – De vrees voor wat niet kwam : nieuwe arbeidsverhoudingen in Nederland 1935-1945, aan het voorbeeld van de Twentse textielindustrie

Niek Vos – De rauwe wet van vraag en aanbod: arbeidsverhoudingen in de Twents-Gelderse textielindustrie 1945 tot 1949

Einde textielstaking, april 1932. Arbeiders gaan de poort van Gerh. Jannink & Zn. binnen (Nationaal Archief 023-0268)

Twente textile strike

Collection former Stichting Film en Wetenschap / provider: Historical Sound Archive RUU / property: SFW
Time period: 1931-1932
Number of interviews: 7
Accessibility: For research purposes
Transcripts: Summaries of 2 interviews, rest none
Period of interviews: 1968 - 1969

Medium: 7 tapes

Twente Textile Strike 1931-32, textile industry Twente 1930s

In conflict with the textile manufacturers.


Interviewees: J. van Baaren, J. Fahner, H. van Genugten, J.A. Middelhuis, R. Slok, F. Stuvé, J. Vunderink


For more information on the interviews and the interviewees, see: SFW-werkuitgave no. 8 (1995), pp. 2, 20, 21, 33, 39, 42, 50.


The Twente Textile Strike is included in the Canon of the Netherlands

Twentse Textielstaking


After the First World War, working in the textile industry was no picnic. Much had improved since the previous century, but the workers were now well organised and no longer accepted the large profits in the family businesses. They wanted better things for themselves. At a protest march, a worker with a carrier cycle full of broomsticks made this clear: “Big steal and little steal, big steal the most.” In 1923 a major strike broke out at Van Heek & Co. By applying “the Twente System” many other textile workers also became unemployed.


The Twente System

The manufacturers, united since 1888 in the Enschedesche Fabrikanten Vereeniging, usually reacted collectively. A strike at one of the affiliated companies was followed by the shutdown of several factories, with the exclusion of all workers. In 1890 this applied to 5,000 workers, in 1902 to 2,000 and in 1909 to 7,500. The strike at Van Heek & Co in 1902 met with much sympathy in and outside Twente. Henriëtte Roland Holst held fiery speeches throughout the country and together with her husband collected money to supplement the strike payouts. In the end, however, the manufacturers won. In 1909 Pieter Jelles Troelstra, leader of the SDAP, spoke before an audience of 7,000 textile workers. In that case, promises were made by the Menko management.

Translated with (free version)

Textielstaking in Enschede in 1931-32. © collectie stadarchief Enschede