aof document

Various documents relative to railroad strikes (1924-1939)
in AOF 5 M 491

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Procurer de Thiès to M. le Procurer Général, Chef du Service Judiciaire de l'Afrique Occidental Française, n°2918 (Thiès, September 6, 1924)

This report mentions two cases of assault by Senegalese railroad workers against European supervisors. Adjusteur Malick Seck struck Sieur Cetran, chef de depot de Thiès, on August 2, 1924.

On August 14, 1924, Amadou Kamara hit contremaitre Marger and chef de depot Mabilleau. He was found guilty and sentenced to two months in prison.

Procurer de Thiès to M. le Procurer Général, Chef du Service Judiciaire de l'Afrique Occidental Française, n°3051 (Thiès, September 20, 1924)

Malick Seck received a sentence of 20 days in jail for striking his Europeam boss, even though there were two witnesses who claimed that Certran hit him first.

Procurer de Thiès to M. le Procurer Général, Chef du Service Judiciaire de l'Afrique Occidental Française, n°3208 (Thiès, October 6, 1924)

There were continued problems amongst the railroad workers. Some time around September 24, 1924, Iba N'Diaye struck M. Menage, chef de la service de traction. There was also a reference to sabotage, but it was reported too late for the procurer general to do anything about it. There was an increasing amount of theft in the workshops. Recently, Seyni Gassama was arrested for stealing copper pipe.

This note refers to the "fâcheux état d'esprit" (bad state of morale) of the workers, and attributed that, at least in part, to the arrival of Moroccan workers.

Procurer de Thiès to M. le Procurer Général,
Chef du Service Judiciaire de l'Afrique Occidental Française
n°3307 (Thiès, October 15, 1924)

Seyni Gassama got 2 months in prison for the theft of a 60- franc piece of copper pipe.

Le Commissioner de Police à Thiès to Gouverneur du Sénégal,
n°741 (Thiès, October 16, 1924)

1,500 kilograms of blasting powder were stolen from one of four powder magazines at Thiès by a group of Africans who got away on foot.

Le Commissioner de Police à Thiès to Gouverneur de la République à Dakar,
n°734 (Thiès, October 14, 1924)

A 20-year old brakeman named Mamadou N'Diaye stole a kilogram of gum arabic.

M. Moiret, off. reserve chez M. Giraudot du Campement des Tirailleurs à Thiès,
copy of report (Thiès, October 5, 1924)

Ibrahima Sarr, titulaire au depot, was arrested for striking the chef d'atelier (head of the workshop) after he was threatened with a revolver. The chef d'atelier made statements like "When I was in the Soudan, blacks didn't talk back or we shut them up with a stick."

The report also mentions the visit by the Sécretaire du Gouvernement Général Villeneuve on October 3, 1924 to straighten things out.

Commissaire du Police de Port Verges to Commissaire Central de Police, report a/s de l'entreprise de Vidal (Dakar, November 8, 1924)

M. Vidal was an ex-transitaire en douanes (formerly employed in the Customs Service). He signed a contract with the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger to assemble new railcars as they arrived at the port of Dakar. On October 1, 1924, he hired about 10 Africans at 15 francs per day, payable every week or at least twice a month. As of November 17, 1924, he had been unable to pay them, so they all quit.

Rapport à monsieur le Procurer Général sur les evenements survenus à Thiès le 27 Septembre 1938, tels qu'ils semblent resulter de la procedure en cours

This was the official version of the events surrounding the death of strikers at Thiès. It resulted from a visit to the scene by the Procurer Général, the Inspecteur Général du Travail and the Directeur de la Surété Générale later the same day.

Six men were killed. The strike grew out of dissatisfaction by the "ouvriers journaliers" (day workers) who were unhappy with the existing union, so they formed a new group headed by Cheik Diack and Alassane Diene based in Dakar and Thiès respectively. When the Directeur du Chemin de Fer Thiès-Niger transferred Diack from Dakar to Gossas, protests began.

Commissaire Centrale de Police to Procurer de la République,
n°C T/M (Dakar, September 28, 1938)

One day after the shootings at Thiès, there was trouble in Dakar. The passenger train n°11 was delayed leaving Dakar Gare and brought to a halt by strikers at about 08h15 near the grade crossing at the Taverne Cyrnos (NOTE: this is about one kilometer from the station). The ringleaders were Ali Diene, Amadou Lamine, Djibril M'Bengue and Souleymane Diagne (monteur, perseur, electricien and monteur, respectively). The train finally left Dakar at 10h20 after troops arrived.

Procurer Général to Colonel Commandant de l'Air en AOF,
copy of letter n°4480 (Dakar, April 8, 1939)

Criminal charges were brought against tirailleurs of the Armée de l'Air for killing strikers. This letter informed their commander that the case had advanced to the "Chambre des mises en accusation de la Cour d'Appel."

The last names of those who were accused were all Malian: Coulibaly, Sissoko, Konaté, etc.