Dados n. 17 Rio de Janeiro 1978

lntervenções Sindicais e o "Novo Sindicalismo"

Figueiredo, Argelina Cheibub


This paper is concerned with the coercive aspect of government policy in post-1964 Brazil, as it affected the labor unions and influenced the rise of a new unionism engaged exclusively in functions of social assistanee. The author shows that state intervention in the labor unions was an important means of controlling the unionist movement and played a significant political role in the purging and recasting of union leadenbip. But, while the coercion of political organizations required extensive govemment use of extraordinary measures, coercion of the unions was achieved, for the most put, through legislation which had been in effect long before the coup of 1964. An analysis of the pattern of state intervention in the labor unions from 1964 to 1970, in terms of the structural level (local, federation or confederation), type of activity ( commerce, industry, transportation, etc.), geographical region and size of the unions affected, shows that such intervention was aimed at key organizations the control of which could be expected to result in control of the entire unionist movement. The author considers government coercion of the labor unions as occurring in two different periods: in the early stages of the authoritarian regime which assumed power in 1964, state intervention was massively applied as a tool of punitive and corretive action related to the unions' previous political activism. ln later years, the actual cases of intervention were sporadic, but the possibility of their occurrence operated as a latent form of political control and intimidated the unions into maintaining their activities within limits acceptable to the regime. These two periods coincide with two phases of government action since 1964: 1) coercive and 2) co-optive, emphasizing social assistance programs in the implementation of which the unions were assigned a very specific political and social role.

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lntervenções Sindicais e o "Novo Sindicalismo"