To Be a Worker: Identity and Politics in Peru

Parodi, Jorge

Published by Univ North Carolina
ISBN 10: 0807848603 / ISBN 13: 9780807848609
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Synopsis: A contemporary classic in Peru, where it was first published in 1986, this book explores changes in the political identity and economic strategies of the Peruvian working class in the 1970s and 1980s. Jorge Parodi uses a case study of Metal Empresa, a large factory in Lima, to trace the surge and decline of the labor movement in Peru--and in Latin America more generally--through the successes and frustrations of the members of a once-powerful union as they coped with the nation's deteriorating economic situation.
By the early 1970s, Metal Empresa was the site of one of the most radical and aggressive unions in Peruvian industry. But as the decade drew to a close, political and economic crises soured the environment for trade unionism and rendered unions less able to produce palpable benefits for their members. Through in-depth, often poignant interviews, including an extensive oral history of one of the workers, Jesus Zuniga, Parodi shows how workers desperate to support themselves and their families were increasingly forced to seek opportunities outside the industrial sector. In the process, he shows, they began to question their very identities as workers.

Book Description: "An important contribution to the labor and business history of Latin America. . . . A vitally important work for scholars concerned with labor in Latin America as well as the business history of the region. It provides a nuanced description of the aspirations of workers and the range of strategies they employ to achieve them. It also offers new evidence as to why private enterprise failed to lift Latin American workers out of acute poverty during the twentieth century."-- Harvard Business History Review

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Title: To Be a Worker: Identity and Politics in ...
Publisher: Univ North Carolina
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