Labor and the Politics of Reform in Argentina
The government of the party historically representing labor in Argentina, the Peronist Party, moved with unprecedented zeal in the 1990s to justify changes in labor legislation that placed the burden of adjustment squarely on workers. Moreover, changes in the labor market, both de jure and de facto, took place in a country where labor’s political and organizational strength had secured it a privileged political position. The chapter takes a historical approach to assess the position of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), both during the process of neoliberal restructuring and labor reform in the 1990s and later, during the Peronist administrations between 2003 and 2015 that were more receptive to labor’s demands. While the CGT and its offshoots like the Argentine Workers’ Central are still forces to be reckoned with, their power was considerably reduced during the 1990s, a development that speaks to the scope of the transformation neoliberalism imposed on the CGT and its legitimacy as representative of the working class and as a key actor within Peronism itself.
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