Unions, Parties and the Sacrifice for Democracy
The literature on transitions to democracy encouraged us to focus on the unions’ capacity to produce conflict. This was implicit in the focus on the unions’ restraint versus mobilization (basically, their likely impact on democratic stability). This in turn precluded a more in-depth look at labour relations and the factors that motivate organized labour. In Chile, for example, we do not see the bell-curved shape of mobilization that O’Donnell and Schmitter associate with the role of labour during democratic transitions.1 The concern with the ‘restraint’ versus ‘mobilization’ of labour leaders also appeared to support the unfruitful assumptions about the limited preferences of labour leaders for wage gain, and their tendency to pursue those at all costs, which characterizes neo-classical writing on unions.
KeywordsPolitical Party Collective Bargaining Labour Relation Local Leader Union Leader
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