Edited by Michael Barry and Adrian Wilkinson
Chapter 6: Employment Relations in Chile and Argentina
Maurizio Atzeni, Fernando Durán-Palma and Pablo Ghigliani INTRODUCTION The study of employment relations in Chile and Argentina has been the outcome of research in various disciplines, particularly sociology, political science, law and history. This broadly defined scholarship has followed similar lines of analysis in both countries, reflecting their parallel socioeconomic transformations and corresponding changes in employment relations actors and institutions – from the rise of import-substituting industrialization and developmentalist populist regimes in the 1930s, which provided the base upon which ‘classic’ employment relations systems began to take shape, to the crises and replacement of such regimes by military dictatorships and the introduction of neoliberalism in the 1970s, which redefined the relationship between capital and labour. A review of the literature has identified two main foci of study that roughly overlap with these two socioeconomic eras. A more traditional line of enquiry has focused on the centrality of labour movements in the making of history, politics and socioeconomic development of each country and has been particularly concerned with examining the shifting relations between trade unions, the state and political parties. A more contemporary focus of study has concentrated on the imposition of neoliberalism, transitions to democracy, labour reform as well as on the implications of new managerial practices on the dynamics of employment relations. With regard to the first focus, the literature on Chilean employment relations can be traced back to historians working from a classic Marxist tradition (Jobet, 1951; Segall, 1953; Ramírez Necochea, 1956; Barría, 1971).1 They...
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