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Navigating Life and Work in Old Republic São Paulo$
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Molly C. Ball

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401667

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401667.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Nonstriking Workers and São Paulo’s Sindicato Amarelo

Nonstriking Workers and São Paulo’s Sindicato Amarelo

Chapter:
(p.73) 3 Nonstriking Workers and São Paulo’s Sindicato Amarelo
Source:
Navigating Life and Work in Old Republic São Paulo
Author(s):

Molly C. Ball

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9781683401667.003.0004

This chapter analyzes why São Paulo’s labor organization was weak prior to World War I. It breaks with traditional explorations into organizers, focusing instead on how industrialist interests and state interventions intersected with the motivations and experiences of rank-and-file and non-striking workers. Prior to the 1917 General Strike, industrialists relied on the state’s increasing willingness to provide police intervention and intimidation to guarantee the “freedom to work.” When these measures proved insufficient and strikes persisted, employers could and did look to the Hospedaria to provide replacement workers. Industrialist interests and the state’s willingness to intervene on industrialists’ behalf certainly limited organization success when compared to other Southern Cone immigration centers, but so too did São Paulo’s distinctive nuclear family–centered immigration and workers’ unwillingness to strike. Newspaper accounts reveal rank-and-file divisions, and Hospedaria records explain the phenomenon by demonstrating the large number of nuclear families arriving and living in the city. For those immigrants and Paulistanos with minimal social connections and opportunities, family goals and survival trumped labor organization and camaraderie. These divisions existed across gender and national lines, but evidence suggests that Portuguese and Afro-Brazilians were more likely to be non-striking workers than other groups.

Keywords:   labor organization, police intervention, labor strikes, non-striking workers

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