The fourth price-wage agreement of 1950 brought about only small wage increases, which remained far behind inflation. However, after the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) had approved the agreement on September 26, spontaneous strikes began at the VOEST in Linz, the location of the Federation of Independents (VdU), the strongest faction in the workers’ council. These strikes were initially directed against the ÖGB and the Chamber of Labour.
When the strike spread to Vienna on September 30, communist workers’ representatives initially organised an Austria-wide works council conference, before they tried to paralyse public life in Vienna with raiding squads. The strikers received support from the Soviet-led USIA factories. However, groups appeared from the ranks of the builders’ and woodworkers’ union under Franz Olah. Olah had close contact with the Americans. They chased the strikers off the streets by force. On October 6, the strike was over. It remains questionable whether a communist putsch attempt was behind the strike.