By Paul Preston
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Thereafter, the influence of 28 THE ORIGINS OF THE SOCIALIST SCHISM Prieto became ever more powerful. In March, under the leadership of a Prietista, Ramón González Peña, the SOMA successfully fought for a 7 per cent wage increase. 85 On a national level, labour militancy was increasing at a vertiginous rate. 86 The UGT leadership seemed unaware of the scope of the economic crisis and was far from prominent in the labour troubles of the spring. 87 The CNT had been legalised in April and recovered its old strength with astonishing speed.
His first reaction was to contest the project legally within the Assembly. When the movement decided against this, he drew up the manifesto. His criticisms of the project were of two sorts. The more immediate and short-term criticisms were based on the fact that the project made only the vaguest promises of social reform and declared an intention to restrict 24 THE ORIGINS OF THE SOCIALIST SCHISM the right to strike. More important were his criticisms of the long-term effects of the project if it were ever put into practice.
Yet there was little indication that the UGT’s virtual monopoly within the state industrial arbitration machinery had a significant positive effect on recruitment. Indeed, two of the UGT’s strongest sections, the Asturian miners and the rural labourers, had suffered appreciable losses during the Dictatorship. It is difficult to establish trade union membership gains during the period. 56 Even in the mining sector, despite the spectacular losses in Asturias, there were some gains. Llaneza managed to secure better wages and conditions for the copper-miners of the British-owned Tharsis mines near Huelva.
Coming of the Spanish Civil War by Paul Preston