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New unionism' and union politics in Pernambuco (Brazil) in the 1980s.

Ventura de Morais, Josimar Jorge (1992) New unionism' and union politics in Pernambuco (Brazil) in the 1980s. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of the emergence and development of "new unionism" in Pernambuco, Brazil (1978-89). The analysis is based on a sample of six trade unions: 1) the Metalworkers' Union; 2) the Bank Workers' Union; 3) the Data Processing Workers' Union; 4) the Urban (Electricity and Water) Workers' Union; 5) the Private Schools Teachers' Union; and 6) the Pernambuco State Schools Teachers' Association. The principal objective of this thesis is to analyse and discuss a number of issues raised by the "new unionism". These are related to its emphasis on a new kind of relationship between union leaders and the rank-and-file. I analyse the tensions between the radicalism of policies put forward by "new unionist" leaders and their concern for responsiveness towards demands arising from the workplace and strategies aimed at reconciling radical proposals with the true interests of the rank-and-file. I have taken four aspects in order to analyse the development of the "new unionism": union bureaucracy and militancy; union democracy; demands, internal segmentation of the working class, union policies and militancy; and finally, union strategies, levels of negotiation and the State in Brazil. Thus, another aspect analysed here is the Michelsian problem, namely whether or not union officials develop interests of their own which are different, and sometimes opposite, to the interests of the rank-and-file. I argue throughout this thesis that this relationship is socially constructed and that such a relationship must be understood in terms of the degree of reporting back to the membership, and responsiveness towards the demands of the rank-and-file. Thus, the major subject discussed in the thesis revolves around the theme of representativeness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations, Economics, Labor, History, Latin American
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2828

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