Shield of the Journeymen’s Association for the Support of Indigent Craftsmen

Chur, 1820

In 1819 the unmarried journeymen in Chur united, forming an association for the support of sick and poor members. Young men often spent the journeyman years on the road, which was why the association not only included local members but also many foreign workers.

The association was a kind of early form of health insurance. It paid a monthly contribution, allowing journeymen to receive treatment in the town’s hospital. At the same time, it was a predecessor of the trade unions that were to emerge as the labour movement developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.