Industrial Relations and Trade Unions in Brazil


The development of the Brazilian system of commercial relations and its trade union movements, like in virtually any other country is inserted in the forming of a sector of wage labor. The controversy on trade unions and professional relationships systems is unison in recognize a crisis in the labor motion that developed because the 1980's decade, and far of the efforts were spent discovering the causes of the problems and exploring pathways to defeat it. However, the issue was stated looking mainly to the problem of the developed countries, specially the US and Western Europe, and the tremendous diversity of situations on the Global South were kept at the fringes of the academics discussion. Area of the explanation is that the idea of industrial relationships and trade unions, depends of the life of a free population performing wage labor. As the most of the Global South was held under colonial systems sometimes as far as the 1970's 10 years, and the labor regimes were a lot more a lot like slavery or serfdom than to the regimes in European societies, the income labor in those parts has received few attention since the early developments of the domains.

Although being achieved independence from Portugal in 1822, the slavery was abolished only in 1888, having a baby to the Brazilian Research Question:

Literature Review:

As the thesis suggested is divided in three main parts, also the literature can be grouped in three relatively 3rd party bodies. First, the effort to describe the Brazilian professional relationships system and the existing role of trade unions focus on the normative environment indicated in the Brazilian regulations, mainly the Loan consolidation of Labor Laws and regulations (ConsolidaЈo das Leis do Trabalho), enacted in 1943 in the period of Getєlio Vargas dictatorship, in autocratic manner, and despite being kept up to date that is still under effect

The idea that workers involve some power resources exists implicitly in the labor theories of value, and the assumption of the central role of labor in development brings the seed of the thought of structural power. As a development of this centrality of labor, the motto "Workers of the world, unite!" is the acceptance that the business of workers is able to create power. In that way, most of the creators that considered the staff and the working course for analysis assume the lifetime and/or the opportunity of creation of electric power resources and its own relationships with labor issues. However, to give a clearer theoretical referential, is necessary to narrow the concept towards a tipification of the power resources open to workers.

The first sources to be considered is Perrone (1983, 1984) unfinished articles, both edited by Eric O. Wright. Aiming to operationalize a variable that clarify the strike behavior and the income levels in various economic sectors, the author presents a description of "positional power"[1] as the probable of a certain group of workers to generate disruption in the monetary structure. For the reason that sense, as higher the interdependence of the whole economy to a sector, higher is the positional power of the workers in that sector. To evaluate this adjustable Perrone uses an input-output matrix to bank account the dependence of the economy to a specific sector. The conclusions of the analysis is that despite the positional power can explain quite nicely differences in income levels, the variable isn't sufficient to explain the strike propensity.

Concerned with the noncorrelation between positional electric power and the propensity to affect, Eric O. Wright, in the postscript of Perrone (1984), commences developing the concept of organizational electric power. He proposes the disruptive potential does not automatically brings about a powerful bargaining vitality of individuals, since several workers can be there low degrees of solidarity and weak organizational resources. However, he recognizes the positional electricity as the key determinant of organizational ability, assuming the disruptive potential as determinant of the cost-benefit trade-off in managing and conducing collective actions. Wright states that we should expect very few instances of low organizational power in high positional power situation or the inverse.

Wright (2000) evolves his idea to "associational electricity", as the various forms of ability that results from the collective organizations of workers, including "such things as unions and parties but may also include a variety of other styles, such as works councils or varieties of institutional representation of staff on boards of directors in strategies of staff member codetermination, or even, in certain circumstances, community organizations"(p. 962). He keep up with the concept of structural ability as the resultant of the location of personnel within the economic system. Analyzing the sites of class bargain, the author identifies that can be done that an increasing in the associational vitality of workers may benefit the employers interests. He reveals three institutional spheres of class conflict and consequently, sites where class bargain can be forged: the sphere of exchange, involving labor market and everything sort of commodity markets, being the labor unions as the appearance of the associational ability in this sphere; the sphere of production, indicating the intra-firm relations, the labor techniques and technological patterns, and the works councils as the manifestation of workers associational power; the sphere of politics, concerning the shaping and execution of status procedures and the management of the state-enforced rules, with the politics parties being the proper execution of the associational electric power of workers. Seeking to understand the mechanisms that allows these different forms of workers associational capacity to forge positive compromises with the employers.

The main feature on the Wright's notion of electricity resources, for the intended purpose of today's proposal, is that he assumes employees' organizations, for example unions, works councils and labor people as the same as workers' vitality. This strong assumption disregards many concepts in industrial relationships books, by typifying the forms that staff organizations can expect. First, the various structures presented aren't common to the various industrial relationships and political systems. Second, disregard the activity/organization dualism tracked by Hyman (2004:2-3, 2000:60-1) trough the theory of trade unions. Third, other authors see a very different nature of staff' electric power, as presented below.

Elaborating the positional/structural way to obtain workers electric power while looking to the staff in mass creation companies, Arrighi and Sterling silver (1984) divide the concept in market-place bargaining power of individuals, as the energy embodied in the scarcity of a particular skill possessed by staff, and in place of work bargaining power, as the "force of employees when they are expending they labor-power within the span of capitalist labor process"(pp 193-4). Although the idea is still incipient, it causes an additional strong development, offered in Magic (2005). Within this paper, she retrieve the idea of Wright (2000) for the associational electricity and put in depth the structural electric power and its subtypes: market place bargaining vitality that results directly from the labor market segments, an may take several varieties, as "(1) the ownership of scarce skills that are in demand by employers, (2) low levels of standard unemployment, and (3) the ability of employees to grab of the labor market completely and make it through on nonwage sources of income"(2005:13), and place of work bargaining power, identical to the Perrone's concept of positional ability. The conceptualization then is used to measure the in what degree the transformations in the organization of creation and the proccess of globalization influenced the workers' ability.

Based in large amount in the same theoretical construction produced by Wright and Magic, the Jena's "force resource procedure" (D¶rre et al. , 2009) contribute adding a fresh aspect to the measurements of staff' electric power, the institutional power, meaning the incorporation of the organizational and structural vitality into social corporations. They dispute that Silver overlooked this aspect of power, what is very improbable, since she assumes that the "associational power has been inserted in talk about legal frameworks that guaranteed specific things like the right to form trade unions as well as the responsibility of employers to bargain collectively with trade unions"(2005:14).

The writers, with help of others, progress in the conceptualization of personnel power, adding a new dimension, the societal electric power (D¶rre and Schmalz, 2013). The creators then build an explicit typification of the many dimensions of power, provided below.


Structural Power

Associational Power

Institutional Power

Societal Power

Forms of practice

Interruption of capital appropriation

Formation of workers

Reference to chartered rights

Interaction with other societal actors

Shop floor level

Labor unrest

Job change

Workers committee

Works council

Shop stewards

Works constitution

Cooperation and discursive power exceed inevitably the limitations between these unique levels

Inter-company level

Economic strikes

Trade unions

Free collective bargaining

Societal level

Political strikes

Workers parties


Laws and legislation

Of course this typification is not the only one possible, among others will be considered and cared for in the further research process for the expert thesis, to be able to compare and incorporate, if valuable and possible, to the theoretical platform. Beforehand, two alternative methods, although being generally intersected, will be examined, particularly the typifications developed by Donna McGuire and Religious Levesque and Gregor Murray various articles.

(tipyfication not valid all the changing times, organisation dont means ability because of bureacratization, but related to Jena PRA "organisational electricity is a reference that can only be attained through strategically designed collective action and formal company" WP and WO only are close related when the employees have control of the organisation. . . parties can provide to indivudual campaign or pursuit political power per se, WC can be coopted by management or symbolize advertising on carrer, and unions can form leaders dettached from its communal basis (trough institutionalisation)

[1]The creator uses "positional vitality" and "structural vitality" as sinonyms.

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