To contextualize Labor Politics in Latin America’s country-specific discussions of Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela, this chapter provides the historical and comparative background essential to account for the particular ways in which global and regional transformations affected labor and labor legislation in Latin America during the critical 1990s and their aftermath in the new century. In the development of this background, the author also explores key concepts that are essential to understanding the book’s case studies. Starting with early experiments in working-class organization, the chapter revisits the contours of mass politics and labor movements in the region and their reconfiguration starting in the 1980s that so deeply transformed the conditions under which workers had struggled to advance and protect their rights.
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