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Tendances récentes de la négociation collective au Brésil

Maria Hermínia Tavares de Almeida
Labour, Capital and Society / Travail, capital et société
Vol. 15, No. 1 (April 1982 / avril 1982), pp. 24-45
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43157615
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Tendances récentes de la négociation collective au Brésil
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Abstract

Trade unionism as it reappeared in the late 1970s in Brazil defined itself in opposition to two elements: firstly, to the attitudes of authoritarian government concerning worker relations and salaries, and secondly, to the union movement of the populist period. It criticized the control by the State over salary increases, and objected to the interference of the authorities in union activities, an interference established during the Vargas era. In addition, the present union movement is seen to be paying the price for stands taken by unionists during the populist period: compromises with the corporatist union structures, abandonment of grass-roots organization, and a record of choosing strategies generally favourable to the government, for the sake of realizing a few limited claims. Using the years prior to "the opening" as a backdrop, the author focuses principally on the period 1978-1980, outlining the evolving goals of trade unionism, describing the incidents of the strike movement, and evaluating the results of various negotiations and government legislation. The conclusions are not encouraging. Given their heritage, the trade unions tended to act precipitously, striking without the full awareness and support of the workers, or, swept along on a tide of participation from the masses, the unions found it impossible to backtrack strategically before an intransigent management or government, without loosing face. We are shown, especially in the case of the struggle to control levels and increases in salaries, how the government successfully applied a flexible approach to negotiations (a policy of conservative reform) permitting minimal concessions while maintaining the principal structures of control The real goals of the trade union movement are far from being realized.

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