Challenges for Workers and Unions
Edited by Carole Thornley, Steve Jefferys and Beatrice Appay
Chapter 11: Trade Union Responses to Privatization and Restructuring of Production in Argentina in the 1990s: Similarities and Differences in Two State-owned Companies
Juliana Frassa, Leticia Muñiz Terra and Alejandro Naclerio INTRODUCTION Neo-liberal policies in the 1990s brought about significant transformations in the economic models of several countries. In the context of globalization, the world economy underwent a profound transformation which resulted in the erosion of former production models and the emergence of what were later called ‘productive restructuring processes’. Such dynamics fostered the emergence of new production and work forms with new features according to each country’s existing economic structure and regulatory framework. In Argentina, globalization trends were experienced jointly with the implementation of a neo-liberal economic model which resulted in, among other things, market deregulation, more open trade and a profound productive restructuring and privatization process. The productive restructuring process implied the transformation of the different socio-technical aspects of companies (the technology, the organization of the work process, the management of the workforce, the work relationships and the corporate culture) as well as the relationship of the companies with clients, suppliers and subcontractors. This process caused a precarious condition for a large part of the employed workforce, which started working in unstable jobs, for a determined period of time, without employee benefits (health insurance and retirement plans). This chapter will examine and compare the track records of two state-owned companies with divergent ways of dealing with the same 163 164 Globalization and precarious forms of production and employment privatization context and state adjustment: the shipyard Astillero Río Santiago (ARS) and the oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF). The...
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