Changes in Relations between the State and Independent Unions? Mexico under the Fox Presidency
Mayer, Jean-Francois, Canadian Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Abstract. This article seeks to clarify whether Mexico's democratic transition of 2000 and the subsequent four years of the Fox government have yielded significant modifications in patterns of exchanges and linkages of power between the state and independent labour unions (ILU)--that is, those labour organizations that were not part of the corporatist framework underpinning the 1929-2000 civilian authoritarian regime. Results indicate that there have been few concrete changes in state-ILU relations, despite this transition. This is due in particular to the continuation of the Federal Labour Law and the manner in which the Fox government has implemented it, perpetuating limitations placed by the previous regime on the workers' freedoms of association and organization, as well as on their right to strike. Nonetheless, findings also suggest that Fox's administration ended the political marginalization of independent unions by allowing them to play an enhanced--if limited--role in Mexico's political dynamics.
Resume. Cet article analyse l'impact de la transition democratique du Mexique sur la dynamique des relations entre l'Etat et les syndicats independants (ILU)--i.e. les syndicats qui ne participerent pas au systeme corporatiste en place durant le regime civil-autoritaire de 1929-2000. Cette etude demontre qu'il n'y a pas eu de changements marques dans les relations Etat-ILU depuis la transition de 2000. Ceci est particuliement attribuable a la perduration de la Loi Federale du Travail, et a la facon dont le gouvernment Fox l'a appliquee, perpetuant ainsi les restrictions placees par le regime precedent sur les libertes d'association et d'organisation, de meme que sur le droit de greve des travailleurs. Cependant, cet article indique que l'administration Fox a mis fin a la marginalisation politique des syndicats independants en leur permettant de jouer un role accru--quoique toujours limite--dans le processus politique Mexicain.
From the mid-1930s until 2000, relations between the state and labour unions in Mexico were conditioned by a non-democratic, state-controlled, corporatist mode of interest representation. (2) This corporatist structure essentially regulated and limited access by social actors to Mexico's decision-making apparatus (Berins Collier 1992, 11; Zapata 1995, 49). Corporatism also significantly contributed to ensuring the legitimacy, stability, and sustainability of the civil-authoritarian political regime in place during that era (Bizberg 1990, 703-704). As a result of this particular context, two categories of labour unions emerged. The first group of unions was granted official status, preferred political representation, and a variety of socioeconomic benefits by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI), the political party that controlled Mexico's authoritarian regime between 1929 and 2000. These labour organizations--generally labelled "official labour unions" (OLU)--were affiliated with the Congreso del Trabajo (Labour Congress, CT). In turn, the Congreso constituted one of the PRI's three corporations, known as "organizational sectors" (Camp 2003, 146; Caulfield 1998, 7). By 2004, the CT's membership comprised approximately six million workers.
The second category of labour organizations resisted state infringement on workers' rights and freedoms, as well as the constraints put by corporatism on union organization and interest representation (Grayson 1989, 33-42). Although the literature uses various terms to designate this latter group, it will be referred to here as "independent labour unions" (ILU). Relations between successive PRI federal governments and independent unions were quite difficult, especially during and after the charrazos of the late 1940s and 1950s--a series of events that led to the unilateral and often violent state imposition of loyal executive committees on independent (or proto-independent) unions active in strategic segments of the country's economy (Middlebrook 1995, 148-153). In fact, ILU were typically marginalized from the country's main political dynamics because these groups' demands for enhanced democracy in internal union procedures and in state-labour relations were considered by the PRI as a direct threat to the very existence and continuity of the Mexican corporatist system, as well as of the authoritarian regime it underpinned (De la Garza 1991, 153-156, 180-181). (3) For the most part, these labour organizations are currently composed of the Union Nacional de Trabajadores (National Workers' Union, UNT)--the main federation of independent unions--and the Frente Sindical Mexicano (Mexican Union Front, FSM). By 2004, roughly 1.5 million workers were affiliated with independent unions.
Mexico's transition to democracy, which culminated with the victory of the conservative Partido Accion Nacional (National Action Party, PAN) candidate Vicente Fox in the July 2000 national elections, promised to change these dynamics of state-labour relations--and in particular, of relations between the state and independent unions. Indeed, during his campaign to capture the presidency, Fox promised that, if elected, he would put into practice the recommendations found in the Veinte Compromisos por la Libertad y Democracia Sindical (Twenty Commitments for Union Freedom and Democracy). This document, crafted by prominent labour lawyers and independent union representatives, essentially sought to end the old corporatist framework and to further the democratization of relations between the state and labour groups. In order to reach these goals, the Veinte Compromisos asked the federal government to effectively implement the workers' freedoms of association and organization, to uphold the right to strike, to ensure genuine collective contract negotiations, and to create impartial labour tribunals (Apendice 2003, 228). The election of Fox in 2000, which peacefully terminated the PRI's 71-year-long authoritarian rule, thus generated a real possibility that the Veinte Compromisos could soon become reality.
Nevertheless, the existing literature on Mexican labour organizations offers little clarification of the extent to which this political regime change brought about a transformation of relations between the state and--specifically--independent labour unions. The few studies dealing with ILU hold that these groups remained politically marginalized during the regime democratization process of the 1980s and 1990s, due to the persistence of institutional mechanisms of state control over labour (Alcalde 2003; Burgess 2003; Camp 2003; De La Garza 2001; Samstad 2002). However, these studies rarely tackle the post-1997 era and are not grounded in systematic case studies of the political orientations and attitudes of independent unions. To begin to address this gap in the literature, I therefore propose to answer the following research question: Have Mexico's democratic transition of 2000 and the subsequent four years of the Fox government yielded significant modifications in patterns of exchanges and linkages of power between the state and independent labour unions?
To answer this research question, I propose a two-pronged investigative approach. First, I conduct an institutional analysis, focusing on the legal framework that regulates labour relations and worker organizations. This framework consists mainly of Constitutional Article 123, codifying the rights and duties of workers and employers, and the Ley Federal del Trabajo (Federal Labour Law, LFT), which operationalizes it. This section shows how some provisions contained in that legal structure underpinned the corporatist system as it existed until 2000. Labour legislation in fact limited the workers' labour rights as well as their freedoms of association and organization, and contributed directly to the alienation of independent unions from the country's political process under the PRI's rule. These restrictive aspects of Mexico's labour legislation remained in place after the transitional election of 2000.
Second, I examine the political perceptions of leaders and a legal counsellor of the seven foremost independent labour organizations, whom I interviewed in the summer of 2004. These individuals typically believed that the 2000 transition to democracy did not generate marked changes in the day-to-day practice and procedures of state-ILU relations. Also, interviewees generally felt that the Fox administration failed to enhance the workers' freedom of associations and organization or protect the right to strike. Despite this unfavourable assessment, respondents nevertheless tended to consider that their unions were no longer marginalized from the country's politics. Also, half of the interviewees thought that ILU had greater political influence and obtained more concessions from the government since 2000 than during previous PRI administrations. Finally, interviewees unanimously depicted CT-affiliated unions as holding more political influence than independent labour organizations in the post-transitional era, a situation they believe likely to continue in the medium term. Most respondents related this situation to the perpetuation of corporatism under the Fox government and to the ILU's comparatively smaller membership.
These findings are quite significant, as they indicate that hundreds of thousands of workers are still effectively denied the enjoyment of basic labour rights and freedoms of association and organization in Mexico, despite the political changes that accompanied the transition of 2000. In that perspective, I suggest that the Fox government perpetuated the political marginalization of ILU as a means of promoting its economic policy agenda. Based on the general institutional context prevailing under the Fox government and on the interviewees' comments, I also propose that an informal, clientelist relation, which linked leaders of ex-corporatist unions to high-ranking officials of the Fox administration, likely developed after the transition.
The Legal Framework Regulating State-Independent Union Relations in Mexico
As mentioned above, relations between the state and labour organizations in contemporary Mexico were defined until 2000 by a corporatist system controlled by the PRI. Comprising three sectors representing the main segments of society-urban labour, the peasantry, and the "popular sector" (essentially the urban middle classes and state employees)--the Mexican corporatist model did not so much attempt to represent the interests of its affiliated members as it sought to control the citizenry's access to, and limit its demands on, the state (Camp 2003, 13; Handelman 1997, 11; Grayson 1997).
With regards to worker organizations, the PRI offered an array of state-derived political and socioeconomic positive inducements to leaders and the rank-and-file of CT-affiliated unions, such as guaranteed representation in the governing coalition and exclusive access to extensive state-subsidized socioeconomic benefits, such as superior healthcare services, union stores offering lower prices on a range of consumption goods, and housing programs. In exchange, these labour groups offered their sustained political support to the PRI during and between electoral periods (Bellin 2000, 197-198; Burgess 2003, 75-78; Cook 1995, 78-79; Middlebrook 1995, 95-105; Patroni 2001, 257). Because the state clearly favoured CT-affiliated organizations in the allocation of these benefits, OLU members composed a privileged category by comparison with the majority of Mexican workers, whether these were non-unionized--the greatest proportion--or affiliated to independent unions--a comparatively much smaller number. However, unions participating in the corporatist framework effectively renounced most of their autonomy in order to secure the positive incentives offered by the state (Aziz Nassif 1989; Bizberg 1990, 701; Burgess 1999, 122; Zapata 1998).
PRI governments since the early 1930s utilized various provisions found in the country's labour legislation--and especially Constitutional Article 123 and the Ley Federal del Trabajo--to strengthen the corporatist system and limit the Mexican workers' possibilities of organizing and mobilizing autonomously from the influence of the state (Ortega and Solis 1999, 38). In doing so, PRI administrations sought to consolidate the domination of the state apparatus over labour groups, and to minimize the likelihood that unions would develop into a counterweight to state power (Patroni 1998, 109-111). Hence, under the PRI-led authoritarian regime, these repressive legal provisions were utilized in particular against independent labour organizations, in order to thwart their resistance to the corporatist framework (Alcalde 2003; Bensusan 1995; De la Garza 1994, 1998). (4)
In general, the substance of Constitutional Article 123 is remarkably comprehensive, progressive, and favourable to the interests of the labour force over those of business owners. Nonetheless, Article 123 contains two important elements which de facto limit the workers' labour rights and political freedoms. First, Apartado B (Section B) of Article 123 effectively abolishes the right of public sector and bank employees to strike by subjecting the work stoppage process to a series of extremely stringent conditions, further specified in the Federal Labour Law (Constitucion Politica de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos 2004, 81-83; Cook 1996, 80-81).
Second, Article 123 establishes that labour conflicts are to be adjudicated by the Juntas de Conciliacion y Arbitraje (Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration, JCA) and by the Secretaria de Trabajo y Prevision Social (Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, STPS). Labour Boards are present at both the federal and local levels, and hold jurisdiction over labour issues in their respective administrative entities. The Labour Boards include representatives of the entrepreneurial sector, labour organizations--typically official unions--and the state (Constitucion Politica de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos 2004, 78). It should be underlined that, despite their central role in interpreting Mexico's Labour Law, the JCA do not constitute part of the country's judiciary power, as they respond directly to the executive power of their respective levels of government (LaBotz 1992, 56). Furthermore, the state-appointed officials preside over the JCAs' work, a position granting the government significant influence over agenda-setting and decisions reached by these institutions. As such, Labour Boards were politicized institutions under the PRI-led authoritarian rule. This allowed successive PRI administrations to become all-powerful arbiters of labour relations and limit labour militancy and political participation (Bensusan 2000, 138).
Still, the legal framework created by Article 123 needed to be refined and operationalized, as it generated jurisdiction overlaps between federal and state authorities in the adoption, implementation, and interpretation of labour legislation in Mexico. Therefore, the Ley Federal del Trabajo was promulgated in 1931 by the Mexican Congress in an attempt to harmonize the federal and regional labour laws (Middlebrook 1995, 47-51). Among other things, the LFT grants the federal government exclusive power over the adoption and modification of the country's labour legislation. Furthermore, the LFT offers Mexican workers significant formal guarantees for decent wages, salubrious working conditions, periodic vacation time, and a range of additional benefits (Ley Federal del Trabajo 1970). However, the LFT also contains several provisions that were utilized by successive PRI governments to thwart the workers' freedoms of association and organization, as well as their right to strike.
For instance, the LFT confers on the Ministry of Labour and local Labour Boards power to grant or deny legal registration to unions. The LFT also requires that the composition or modification of a union's executive committee be approved by the Ministry of Labour or the corresponding local JCA--a process known as the toma de nota (Ley Federal del Trabajo 1970, Title VII, Chapter II). Furthermore, the LFT establishes that a union cannot enter into a bargaining process over collective contracts or engage in strike procedures without previously obtaining official registration as well as official approval of its executive officers. These legal provisions constitute crucial elements of state control over labour organizations. In fact, past PRI governments often utilized the STPS and their domination of local JCAs to deny registration and approval of executive committees of unions whose discourse or declared goals and interests conflicted with those of the state (Alcalde 2003, 25-27; Santos Azuela 1989, 39-42; De la Garza 1998, 198-200; Patroni 1998, 114). These legal provisions served in particular to marginalize ILU from the country's political dynamics, given that these unions' demands for the democratization of state-labour relations were perceived by the PRI as a direct threat to the stability and sustainability of the authoritarian regime.
What is more, the LFT and Article 123 grant the JCAs power to judge the legality and validity of a strike. According to these legal provisions, unions must file a strike petition with the corresponding JCA before engaging in actual work stoppage. Under the PRI's rule, the state utilized its influence over Labour Boards to reject such petitions, for a variety of technical and politically motivated reasons, thus imposing "peaceful" labour relations (De la Garza 1998, 200-201; Franco 1991, 111-115). In fact, JCAs during the PRI regime frequently declared strikes "non-existent" or "illegal," decisions which carried substantial legal, financial, and at times physical (due to periodic occurrences of repression of workers by the state) consequences for contravening unions and their members.
Because Article 123 and the LFT sanction state regulation of labour relations, a central characteristic of the process of labour law adjudication under the PRI has been its continued domination by the governing coalition (Franco 1991, 119). Indeed, successive PRI federal governments proceeded with a selective and politically motivated implementation of the LFT between 1931 and 2000. This strategy helped to consolidate the PRI's corporatist structure, while proving greatly detrimental to labour rights and workers' political freedoms (Patroni 2001, 255-257; Zapata 1995, 95). Furthermore, the PRI leadership adopted this strategy in order to support its economic policy objectives. For instance, between the 1940s and 1970s, the PRI utilized the LFT to impose labour peace, so as to sustain the country's industrialization by import substitution and high levels of economic growth. Subsequently, during the 1980s and 1990s, the PRI's implementation of the LFT aimed to maintain a quiescent labour force, perpetuate low salaries, as well as implement de facto labour flexibilization so as to attract foreign investment and increase the competitiveness of Mexican industries on the international market (De la Garza 1998, 203; LaBotz 1992, 50; Ortega and Solis de Alba 1999, 83-84, 147). This legal framework and the PRI's use of its restrictive provisions were instrumental in the political marginalization--and at times led to the outright repression of--independent worker unions during the PRI-led authoritarian regime.
The PRI's replacement in power by the PAN's Vicente Fox following the 2000 transitional elections put a formal end to the state-controlled corporatist system of interest intermediation at the national level. The regime transition also caused the PRI to lose its unhampered access to the state apparatus and its resources, which were necessary to the maintenance of this system. However, many of the structures underpinning the corporatist framework--among them the LFT--were unaffected by this regime transition (Mayer 2003). Soon after it acceded to power, the PAN government followed through with its electoral promise to reform the LFT, formalized in particular by Fox's pre-electoral support of the Veinte Compromisos. As such, in mid-2001, the new administration invited representatives of the business community and the labour force to attend a series of discussions facilitated by the state. In a radical departure from the aforementioned policy practices of previous PRI governments, Fox's team placed particular emphasis on the necessity for independent union delegates to participate in this roundtable, so as to guarantee the representative nature and inclusiveness of talks. Thus, both ex-official unions and independent labour organizations attended the tripartite discussions (Martinez 2001; Mexican Labour News and Analysis August 2001). (5)
Nevertheless, this effort to reconfigure the LFT ultimately failed after several months of negotiations between participants. Mayer (2003) shows that this result is attributable to three main factors. First, the divergent and seemingly irreconcilable interests of business, ILU, and OLU representatives yielded antagonistic inter-group relations at the roundtable, which eventually caused the marginalization of independent union spokespersons. Subsequently, two proposals to transform the LFT were introduced to Congress in late 2002, which were by and large opposed in their contents. The first project, crafted by ILU representatives with the support of the left-leaning Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD), essentially sought to democratize state-labour relations by abolishing the JCAs as well as amending the aforementioned LFT provisions that restricted workers' labour rights and freedoms of association and organization. The second initiative, created by CT-affiliated unions in collaboration with large-scale entrepreneurs, and supported by some PAN and PRI Congresspersons, insisted on deepening the flexibilization of Mexico's labour force and advocated the continuation of most of the aforementioned legal mechanisms allowing state regulation of labour relations, while recommending additional restrictions on freedoms of association and the right to strike. (6) This outcome generated a heated political debate within civil society and between its political representatives, which in turn contributed to the shelving of these initiatives by Congresspersons in May 2003.
Second, President Fox's involvement in the roundtable negotiations and subsequent Congressional debates appears to have been inadequate for the considerable task at hand. In particular, Fox abstained from reasserting his commitment to the Veinte Compromisos, disengaged himself from the reform process during the roundtable talks, and refused to clearly support either one of the proposals, generally remaining aloof while both reform projects were being examined in the national legislature. Third, the three main political parties present in Congress--the PRI, PAN, and PRD--were plagued by an absence of inter-party coordination, and by intra-party fractionalization. This situation was made worst by the short-term political opportunities generated by the July 2003 legislative elections. As a result of the lack of political will of, and cohesion within and among, parties in the Mexican legislature, both initiatives failed to obtain the approval of a majority of Congresspersons.
This result ultimately means that, under Fox's administration, the legal framework regulating labour relations in Mexico still contained provisions that could be utilized by the federal government in a way that limits the labour rights and political freedoms of workers. In addition, these legal structures could still be implemented by the federal administration in a manner favouring the continued marginalization of independent labour organizations from the country's political dynamics. However, this scenario is not guaranteed.
Indeed, the Fox administration has ostensibly sought to include independent unions in some national policy discussions of relevance to the labour force, as illustrated by the participation of ILU representatives in the 2001-03 LFT reform process. In fact, the Fox government reactivated the tripartite discussions after the legislative elections of July 2003, with the specific goal of gaining independent labour's support for a prospective LFT reform proposal (Munoz Rios 2003). During a personal interview in August 2003, Carlos Trevino, the Ministry of Labour's Director of Legislative Relations and chief negotiator at the LFT reform roundtable, told me that the STPS worked closely with independent labour representatives in order to increase the legitimacy of the LFT reform process. What is more, Trevino admitted that "given its own pro-democracy orientation, the government would much rather see a strengthening of independent, democratic unions as opposed to the development of the old corporatist organizations." This statement was corroborated by another high-ranking STPS official, who nevertheless insisted on anonymity.
These events suggest that, although negotiations to reform Mexico's Labour Code failed, leaving its restrictive provisions untouched, there might have been changes in the manner in which the federal government implements the LFT's legal provisions. In an effort to explore this possibility, the following section therefore seeks to clarify whether the practice of state-ILU relations has been modified since 2000.
Changes in State-ILU Relations? The Perceptions of Independent Union Leaders
The findings that follow result from a series of interviews conducted in Mexico during the summer of 2004 with leaders of the seven principal (in terms of their membership size and levels of political activism) independent labour unions. The interviewees were: Francisco Hernandez Juarez, Secretary-General of the Sindicato de Telefonistas de la Republica Mexicana (Union of Telephone Workers of the Mexican Republic, STRM); Ramon Pacheco, Secretary of External Affairs for the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (Mexican Union of Electricians, SME); Agustin Rodriguez Fuentes, Secretary-General of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Union of Workers of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, STUNAM) and federal Deputy for the PRD; Roberto Vega Galina, Secretary-General of the Sindicato Nacional de los Trabajadores del Seguro Social (National Union of Workers of the Social Security, SNTSS) and federal Deputy for the PRI; Alejandra Barrales Magdaleno, leader of the Asociacion Sindical de Sobrecargos de Aviacion de Mexico (Union of Ground Personnel of Mexican Airports, ASSA) and local Deputy in the Federal District Legislature for the PRD; Erick Quesnel, National Coordinator of the Frente Autentico del Trabajo (Authentic Labour Front, FAT); and Rodolfo Perez Ruiz, Secretary-General of the Sindicato de los Trabajadores de la Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (Union of Workers of the Autonomous Metropolitan University, SITUAM). In order to gain additional insight, I also met with Arturo Alcalde Justiniani, one of Mexico's most prominent labour lawyers, who has represented independent unions in several causes before various JCAs and Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice.
Because three interviewees (Barrales, Rodriguez, and Vega) were also Deputies of opposition parties in the Federal Congress and in the Federal District legislature, one would expect their perceptions to be conditioned by their partisan affiliation, and therefore to show systematically negative evaluations of the Fox government's policies and behaviour. However, these interviewees' answers were either in tune with those of the majority of the remaining respondents, or were on occasion more conciliatory towards the Fox administration than the assessment of the rest of their colleagues. As such, partisan affiliation does not seem to have imposed a perceptible bias on the answers of these three respondents.
First, the great majority of interviewees considered that the democratic transition and the government of Vicente Fox had not significantly changed the nature of relations between the state and independent unions. In fact, Hernandez Juarez affirmed that the Fox government tried to bypass the influence of the main federation of independent unions--the UNT--so as to negotiate directly with individual unions, in an attempt to divide and weaken independent labour organizations. (7) Labour lawyer Alcalde added that the Fox government was less involved than previous PRI administrations in conciliation efforts during labour conflicts. Only Agustin Rodriguez believed that the Fox government had been more open to the ILU's demands on policy issues of concern to them, despite the lack of changes in the institutional framework regulating labour relations.
Second, interviewees overwhelmingly felt that, by comparison with the past PRI administrations of de la Madrid, Salinas, and Zedillo, the Fox government had not offered more protection for the workers' freedoms of association and organization, and had not loosened the restrictions on the workers' right to strike. Respondents typically attributed that situation to the continuation of the Labour Boards as politicized institutions, and the lack of reform and democratization of the LFT. Indeed, Alcalde said that there had been no change whatsoever in the practices of the Labour Boards, as they "continue to perpetrate acts of illegality by frequently denying or delaying registration to independent unions." The FAT's Erick Quesnel attributed this situation to the Fox government's refusal to dismantle the remnants of the old corporatist framework, which resulted from its fear of likely repercussions--such as possible national strikes called by the CT and systematic obstruction of the PRI in Congress--and its concomitant desire to maintain the peaceful (although undemocratic) labour relations generated by that system over past decades.
Again, only Agustin Rodriguez held a different point of view, saying that there had been greater freedoms of association and organization under the Fox administration, which has also better guaranteed the workers' right to strike. He nevertheless joins Alejandra Barrales in deploring the continuation of acts of repression at the regional level, performed by the police forces of local governments, security staffs of entrepreneurs, and OLU thugs. As well, Rodriguez confirmed Alcalde's assertion that it remained difficult for independent unions to obtain registration from JCAs.
Third, interviewees generally believed that, since Fox's team's accession to power in 2000, the federal government no longer sought to politically marginalize independent unions. This represents a fairly unexpected finding, given these respondents' answers to the previous two questions. The only exception to this perception was the SME's Ramon Pacheco, who stated that the Fox government had been worst than previous PRI-led administrations because of its "rigidity in relations with civil society, and its pro-business biases." Respondents who held the belief that Fox's administration had not sought to marginalize ILU were divided in two groups. On the one hand, Hernandez Juarez, Vega Galina, Barrales, and Alcalde considered that independent unions gained influence over the political process during the Fox government, as they had been consulted on various important policy issues pertaining to labour relations--such as was the case during the LFT reform process--and had been more successful in obtaining various socioeconomic concessions from the federal government.
On the other hand, Quesnel, Rodriguez, and Perez remained somewhat ambivalent on this issue. Although they considered that independent unions had not been politically marginalized since the 2000 regime transition, these interviewees indicated that ILU were mainly unable to capitalize on this situation under the Fox government. The respondents explained that Fox's team remained fearful of the sociopolitical influence of CT-affiliated unions, a situation that allowed these labour groups to conserve a dominant role in labour politics.
The interviewees were then asked to gauge the comparative level of political influence of independent unions versus ex-official unions after the 2000 transition. Respondents were unanimous in saying that ILU still do not have more impact on Mexico's political process than ex-official unions. Interviewees all attributed this context to the fact that OLU leaders had offered their support as well as that of the PRI--to whom they are still officially attached--to the Fox government in exchange for governmental concessions. Nevertheless, most respondents could not define more precisely the nature of these incentives. According to Rodriguez, President Fox needed this backing because his party, the PAN, did not hold enough seats in Congress to guarantee the adoption of his government's policy agenda. Barrales added that the continuation of the independent unions' comparative weakness was due to the fact that "many ILU leaders have been coopted by political parties, and have abandoned the fight to defend and promote the independent unions' socioeconomic demands--they prefer instead to further their own partisan and electoralista (election-oriented) political interests."
As a follow-up question, interviewees were asked whether independent unions could, in the next few years, replace OLU in the role of main interlocutor of the government for labour-related policy issues. Respondents were evenly divided in their answers. Barrales, Rodriguez, Hernandez Juarez, and Vega Galina all replied affirmatively, explaining that workers now recognize the lack of legitimacy as well as the corruption of ex-official unions and their leaderships, and are therefore gradually abandoning them to join independent labour organizations. Furthermore, Hernandez Juarez explained that the federal government now considers independent unions to be an indispensable--although still not the principal--interlocutor regarding labour issues, given the legitimacy and support that ILU enjoy among the citizenry.
Nevertheless, Pacheco, Quesnel, Perez, and Alcalde all considered that independent unions still have a long way to go before supplanting the OLU as the government's main labour interlocutor. Alcalde and Pacheco said that the continuation of corporatist structures under the Fox government thwarts any hope of the OLU being displaced by independents. Quesnel affirmed that, as long as the independent unions' membership is less than a third of the OLU's, independent labour organizations cannot hope to displace ex-official unions as leading representatives of the labour force in Mexico. For their part, Pacheco and Perez--whose unions are not members of the UNT--considered that the independent unions' political weakness is related to their fractionalization. These interviewees indicated that independent labour organizations are not coherently organized around one representative central body, and as such cannot compete with ex-official unions, which are linked to the CT.
Interpreting the Results
The findings presented in the above sections outline a remarkable evolution in state-independent union relations since Vicente Fox took over the presidency of Mexico in December 2000. On one hand, the leaders of independent unions I interviewed generally believed that the Fox government has ended the political marginalization of their labour organizations--although there was no agreement among respondents on the repercussions of this new context on state-ILU relations. In fact, the Fox administration showed several clear signs of its willingness to open new political space for independent unions. For instance, Fox adopted the Veinte Compromisos during his electoral campaign. Also, the PAN government formally invited independent unions to the roundtable negotiations on Labour Code reform--an unthinkable situation during past PRI administrations. In fact, during the summer of 2003, Fox's team seems to have made a special effort to obtain the support of independent unions for an eventual LFT reform proposal. In that perspective, the behaviour of the Fox administration towards independent labour organizations differed markedly from the patterns of exchanges between the PRI-controlled state and ILU, which sought to systematically exclude independent unions from Mexico's main political dynamics.
On the other hand, the Fox administration was unable to reform the Federal Labour Law and did not implement the Veinte Compromisos. This allowed for the continuation of several legal provisions that grant the state power to control labour relations and regulate the organization and activities of worker unions. Furthermore, leaders of the main independent labour organizations typically did not consider that the Fox administration has significantly modified the patterns of exchanges and linkages of power between the state and independent unions. Indeed, interviewees generally believed that the Fox presidency has not defended and promoted the workers' labour rights (and in particular the right to strike) or freedoms of association and organization any better than past PRI governments. Secretary General Perez of the SITUAM summarized this perspective by affirming that "the Fox government has allowed independent unions to occupy more political space, but it has not listened to the demands of these unions."
It should be noted that secondary sources cannot confirm the interviewees' affirmations that independent unions still faced significant obstacles when trying to obtain registration or permission to strike from the state. Indeed, the union registration process has been kept secret since 1931, as registration records remain under the control of the various levels of JCA, which do not allow public access to this information. Likewise, the Mexican government's strike data are notoriously imprecise and unreliable (Middlebrook 1995, 164-167). This is mostly due to the aforementioned fact that PRI-led governments between 1931 and 2000 often relied on the Ministry of Labour and utilized their influence over Labour Boards to limit strikes and discourage labour organizations from embarking on widescale worker mobilizations. Also, strike data do not include instances of unofficial and short-lasting paros (work stoppages), frequently used to pressure business owners and the government while bypassing the time-consuming process of presenting a formal strike petition to Labour Boards and avoiding the negative repercussions of being denied permission to strike by these Boards. Nevertheless, these interviewees' observations offer a privileged--if perhaps somewhat biased--insight into these matters.
More recent political dynamics in Mexico seem to reinforce the interpretation according to which state-ILU relations have not changed markedly since the transition of 2000. In fact, it appears that there has been a communication breakdown between independent unions and the federal administration since the summer of 2003, as the Fox government has not hesitated to set forth or support bills attacking the interests of independent union members. For instance, during the summer of 2004, the Fox administration proved unfl inching in its support of a bill, crafted and backed by the PRI, which sought to reform a significant segment of Mexico's public pension system. In doing so, the federal government effectively ignored the demands of, and refused dialogue with, independent unions, which were fiercely opposed to the proposed transformations negatively affecting thousands of ILU members (Mexican Labour News and Analysis 2004, September). If this interpretation is correct, what explains the Fox government's apparent decision to return to--or, perhaps more accurately, to perpetuate--a political context conducive to the marginalization of ILU? In other words, what could the Fox administration hope to gain from adopting such a course of action?
It is most plausible that this political strategy resulted from the Fox government's realization that it could not rely on independent unions and their allies in Congress to support the central elements of its wide-ranging reformist policy agenda. Indeed, this policy program aimed among other things to develop administrative efficiency, alleviate poverty, strengthen democracy and the rule of law through a reform of the judiciary system, and further economic growth by way of a deepening of the market-based economic model in place (Elizondo 2003, 29-38; Shirk 2004, 180-181, 201). However, ILU strongly resisted the last of these policy items. As a result, it is likely that the Fox government sought to secure the support of ex-official unions and their Congressional allies to further its economic policy agenda. This strategic decision of Fox's team can be explained by a few key factors.
In the first place, given that no political group held an absolute majority of seats in the Mexican parliament during the 2000-06 period, President Fox's party--the PAN--could not impose the administration's reformist policy agenda on Congress. In addition, the PAN itself had been periodically at odds with Fox's team since 2000. This explains in great part the Fox administration's rather dismal performance with regards to the enactment and implementation of its policy program.
Also, the prospective benefits for the Fox government of establishing a political pact with independent unions appear to have become increasingly slim as time passed. Relations between the Fox government and independent unions were initially closer than those characterizing exchanges between the state and ILU under the preceding PRI administrations. This can be attributed in great part to the democratizing project shared by both Fox's team and independent unions. Nonetheless, the prospects of ILU playing a more active role in the governing coalition soon fell by the wayside, as it became clear that the economic perspectives and goals of these two actors were significantly diverging: independent unions favoured a stronger involvement of the state in the national economy as well as some elements of protectionism, whereas the Fox administration advocated the deepening of market-based economic policies, the furthering of trade liberalization, and a mostly peripheral economic role for the state.
As such, it quickly became evident that ILU were strongly opposed to the Fox administration's economic orientation. Independent union resistance was particularly intense against the government's plans to reform Mexico's tax system (among other things by implementing a value-added tax), privatize the oil and electricity resources, and restructure the country's public pension schemes (Mexican Labour News and Analysis September 2001, September and November 2003, February 2004). This ILU resistance typically took the form of repeated public demonstrations, which often attracted tens of thousands of workers, and of the production and dissemination of proposals for alternative policy plans based on a more interventionist role for the state. Furthermore, independent labour organizations have gradually established closer ties with the PRD since 2000. These two actors shared an opposition to President Fox's economic policy agenda, and both called for a deepening of the democratization of state-labour relations--among other things through a reform of the Federal Labour Law. This alliance became more concrete during the 2003 mid-term legislative elections, as roughly two dozen ILU members ran under the PRD's banner (Mexican Labour News and Analysis July 2003).
On the other hand, OLU leaders had shown in the past that they were not necessarily radically opposed to economic policies such as the ones advocated by Fox's team. To be sure, the three PRI federal administrations in place between 1982 and 2000 shared many of the economic goals pursued by Fox's government. These administrations generally received the support of OLU when implementing major economic adjustment and restructuring plans, in exchange for some limited benefits granted by the state to these unions' leaders and members (Bellin 2000; Murillo 2000). Furthermore, these unions had manifested their will to closely collaborate with Fox's team, soon after its election to the federal government in 2000 (Mexican Labour News and Analysis November 2000). By contrast, the leaders of these labour organizations were staunchly opposed to a democratization of the Federal Labour Law, which they believed would lessen their power over the rank-and-file and potentially allow for the emergence of more independent unions.
Therefore, the Fox government soon found itself at a crossroads. On the one hand, it could seek the support of the numerically less important independent unions and its PRD ally to further the federal government's democratization program. On the other hand, Fox's team could seek the support of ex-official unions and their PRI partner--the political party benefiting from a relative majority of seats in Congress, and to which OLU were still affiliated--in the hope of enhancing the possibility of Congress promulgating the federal administration's socioeconomic reform policies. In the end, it seems that the Fox government chose to periodically ally with OLU instead of relying on independent union support, in order to improve its record of economic accomplishments. In doing so, Fox's government appears to have sacrificed the democratization of state-labour relations in favour of the advancement of its economic policy agenda.
In that perspective, the political marginalization of independent unions can be seen as serving the Fox administration in its bid to further the market-based economic model in place. This model, implemented by successive PRI governments since 1985, was premised upon extensive privatizing, wage restrictions and falling real salaries, and labour flexibilization (Ortega and Solis de Alba 1999; Teichman 1996). Since the LFT had allowed the state to impose this economic system without encountering much resistance from unions until 2000, the Fox government may have found small incentive to modify the LFT in a fashion conducive to greater democratization of state-labour relations. Indeed, greater degrees of democracy in labour relations and internal union functioning would most likely favour the proliferation of independent unions, which, as mentioned, have been quite vocal in their opposition to the Fox administration's economic policy program. Therefore, it is probable that the Fox government sought to preserve some elements of state control over organized labour so as to limit union resistance to its economic orientation.
This line of interpretation is broadly supported by the affirmations of ILU leaders I interviewed. In fact, these individuals claimed that a corporatist relation had emerged between CT-affiliated unions and the Fox administration. However, few respondents could explain the elements underpinning this pattern of interaction and its functioning. Still, ASSA leader Alejandra Barrales, SITUAM Secretary General Rodolfo Perez, and STUNAM Secretary General Agustin Rodriguez offered fascinating comments related to that issue. According to these interviewees, the Fox government granted ex-official union leaders legal impunity in exchange for the OLU's support for its policy agenda. In particular, Barrales stated that "the government offered [OLU leaders] freedom from going to jail for their illegal activities during the years preceding the transition."
A dominant characteristic of corporatist models is their highly coordinated and formal system of bargaining, which ties the state to a limited number of interest groups. In fact, theories of corporatism insist that the presence of formal institutions of interest intermediation represents a crucial and necessary component of corporatist frameworks (Schmitter 1982; Hartog and Teulings 1998). However, Mexico's democratic transition terminated the formal structures of interest intermediation that linked the state with a majority of labour unions under the PRI's rule. Indeed, the corporatist framework in place until 2000 tied official unions directly to the PRI, which in turn controlled the state apparatus. When the PRI relinquished the federal government in 2000, the formal corporatist structures tying the state to official unions (through the Labour Congress) remained linked to the PRI but were disconnected from the state. Furthermore, available evidence suggests that the Fox government has abstained from reestablishing any formal, coordinated, and long-term instruments of interest intermediation with labor unions (Camp 2003; Mayer 2003, 2005). As such, it seems misguided to label as corporatist the patterns of exchanges existing between the Fox administration and organized labour.
The general institutional context described above, as well as the comments of Barrales, Perez, and Rodriguez, suggest that, instead of the emergence of a new corporatist framework, it is likely that an informal, clientelist relation has developed, which links leaders of CT-affiliated unions to high-ranking government officials.
Briefly, the literature understands clientelism as an informal scheme of interest intermediation involving two parties with unequal degrees of power (i.e., a patron and one or several clients) connected through a system of personalized exchanges and bargaining (Eisenstadt and Roniger 1981; Graziano 1976). To be sure, patterns of interest intermediation linking the majority of labour unions to the federal government during the PRI's rule were not characterized solely by the presence of formal corporatist structures. In fact, the PRI's corporatist framework was complemented by an expansive clientelist network. This network essentially linked high-ranking federal government officials and leaders of corporatist unions through informal and personalized ties (Aziz Nassif 1989; Cook 1995; Middlebrook 1995; Ortega and Solis de Alba 1999). In this scheme, public officials channelled state-derived resources to corporatist union leaders. For instance, these leaders were guaranteed a certain number of seats in state and federal Congresses, thus improving their upward political mobility. In exchange, labour leaders offered their political support as well as that of their unions' rank-and-file to the PRI. Indeed, this clientelist system was accompanied by another set of clientelist ties, linking union members to the leaders of their labour organizations. This relationship was based upon the union leaders' control over the hiring, firing, and promotion of workers, as well as over the distribution of a variety of benefits, such as exclusive access to state-sponsored housing programs. In exchange for these benefits, workers were expected to support their union leaders and follow their directions concerning voting and political mobilization (Trejo Delarbre 1990; Zapata 1995).
In that context, it is plausible that the Fox government distributed a particular type of public good to leaders of ex-official unions: the selective enforcement of the law and the preservation of the Federal Labour Law. This would afford OLU union leaders immunity from criminal and other legal charges resulting from their often illegal activities during their years at the helm of their respective labour organizations. In addition, the persistence of the Federal Labour Law would allow these leaders to protect and consolidate their authority by utilizing the law's several anti-democratic provisions in order to quell dissidence among union rank-and-files. In exchange for these benefits, leaders of ex-official unions likely offered the political support of their labour organizations, and in some cases that of the PRI, to Fox's economic policy agenda.
This interpretation could also explain in great part events such as the fall 2004 decision of the Fox government to perpetuate the wide-ranging socio-economic benefits granted by the state to the oil workers' union, despite the fact that these benefits resulted from accords struck between this union and previous PRI-led federal governments, which did not bind the Fox administration (Mexican Labour News and Analysis, October 2004). This interpretation would also explain the continuing political marginalization of ILU under Fox. Nevertheless, preliminary interviews with high-ranking CT officials did not permit confirmation of this interpretation. Hence, although quite promising, this line of explanation should be the object of supplementary research in order to test its robustness.
It is important to emphasize that, although this research focused mostly on the nature and evolution of the relation between the federal government and independent unions, important differences exist in state-labour relations at the federal and local levels. The difficulties experienced by maquiladora (in-bond processing plant) workers in obtaining their labour rights and basic political freedoms from enterprise owners, ex-official union leaders, and local Labour Boards best illustrate this context (Carillo 1991, 225-226, 238; LaBotz 1992, 189-190). Nevertheless, non-maquiladora examples of regional labour conflicts abound, such as the recent cases of strikes at the Uniroyal plant in Queretaro and the Euzkadi plant in Jalisco, as well as the difficulties encountered by the teaching staff of Guanajuato's Sistema Avanzado de Bachillerato y Educacion Superior (Advanced System of College and University Teaching) to obtain the official registration of their independent union (Mexican Labour News and Analysis 2002, 2004). In fact, many of the individuals interviewed for this study mentioned that the meagre progress made in state-ILU relations at the federal level still had no parallel at the local level, where independent union members continue to be the victims of acts of repression--perpetrated by state and local police forces as well as thugs hired by CT-affiliated unions and business owners--and where regional governments and their respective Labour Boards continue to turn a blind eye to these violations of the workers' democratic rights.
The findings presented in this article suggest that, as long as the current institutional framework of state-labour relations is allowed to continue, Mexico's political system will be unable to reach the minimal procedural standards of democracy. (8) Indeed, hundreds of thousands of workers are still effectively denied the enjoyment of basic freedoms of association and organization and the right to strike due to the persistence of restrictive stipulations in Article 123 and the Federal Labour Law. Furthermore, these legal provisions allow Mexico's various levels of governments to continue with a selective and politically motivated implementation of the legal framework regulating labour relations in the country. Hence, this article's research results further clarify the need for an in-depth process of reform to democratize the provisions of the Federal Labour Law and Article 123.
(1.) I would like to thank the two anonymous CJLACS reviewers for their insightful comments.
(2.) This article relies on Schmitter's (1974, 93-94) understanding of state corporatism, defined as "a system of interest representation in which the constituent units are organized into a limited number of singular, compulsory, non-competitive, hierarchically organized, and functionally differentiated categories, recognized or licensed (if not created) by the state and granted a deliberate representational monopoly within their respective categories in exchange for observing certain controls on their selection of leaders and articulation of demands and supports."
(3.) The terminology "political marginalization" refers here to the exclusion of ILU from the country's policy-making process, and to restrictions put by the state on these unions' participation in national political dynamics.
(4.) Nevertheless, the PRI occasionally affected a rapprochement with ILU, in a--typically successful--bid to compel corporatist unions to follow the party's policy line (Clifton 2000).
(5.) Because of this formal end to corporatism in 2000, I refer to CT-affiliated labour organizations as "ex-official unions" in the rest of this study. Nevertheless, for the sake of simplicity and in order to remain concise, I also retain the label "OLU" when referring to these unions.
(6.) Labour flexibilization aims mainly at the reduction of the cost of labour. Among other things, flexibilization advocates broadly defined job descriptions allowing the assignment of employees to various tasks; favours greater freedom in the scheduling of work days and working hours; permits a reduction in the costs of training and firing; bases promotion and salary increases upon demonstrated technical abilities and production performance; and generally seeks to reduce the influence of worker unions on the management of the labour force (Bensusan 1995, 73).
(7.) Hernandez Juarez, Rodriguez Fuentes, and Vega Galina were co-presidents of the UNT from 2000 to 2004.
(8.) In this context, "democracy" typically refers to a political regime underpinned by a rule of law, which guarantees freedoms of expression, association, and participation, and allows for free and fair elections as well as the possibility of groups alternating in power (Dahl 1989, 213-223; Przeworski 1991, 32-34).
Alcalde, Arturo. 2003. Reforma laboral: Una iniciativa para favorecer al corporativismo. In Reforma Laboral, edited by Arturo Alcalde, Hector Barba, Graciela Bensusan, Alfonso Bouzas, Carlos De Buen, Nestor De Buen, Saul Escobar, Rosa Albina Gravito, and Marua Xelhuantzi, 15-40. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Apendice. 2003. In Reforma Laboral, edited by Arturo Alcalde et al., 219-240. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Aziz Nassif, Alberto. 1989. El estado mexicano y la CTM. Mexico City: Editorial La Casa Chata.
Bellin, Eva. 2000. Contingent Democrats: Industrialists, labour and democratization in late-developing countries. World Politics 52 (January): 175-205.
Bensusan, Graciela. 1995. Entre la tradicion y el cambio: El corporativismo sindical en Mexico. In Sindicalismo latinoamericano: Entre la renovacion y la resignacion, edited by Maria Silvia Portella de Castro and Achim Wachendorfer, 67-81. Mexico City: Editorial Nueva Sociedad.
--. 2000. El modelo mexicano de regulacion laboral. Mexico City: Plaza y Valdes.
Berins Collier, Ruth. 1992. The contradictory alliance: State-labour relations and regime change in Mexico. Berkeley: University of California, International and Area Studies.
Bizberg, Ilan. 1990. La crisis del corporativismo Mexicano. Foro Internacional 30.4: 695-735.
Burgess, Katrina. 1999. Loyalty dilemmas and market reform: Party-union alliances under stress in Mexico, Spain and Venezuela. World Politics 52 (October): 105-134.
--. 2003. Mexican labour at a crossroads. In Mexico's politics and society in transition, edited by Joseph S. Tulchin and Andrew Selee, 73-108. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Camp, Roderic. 2003. Politics in Mexico, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carrillo, Jorge. 1991. The evolution of the maquiladora industry: Labor relations in a new context. In Unions, workers, and the state in Mexico, edited by Kevin J. Middlebrook, 213-241. San Diego: Center for US-Mexican Studies, University of California.
Caulfield, Norman. 1998. Mexican workers and the state. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press.
Clifton, Judith. 2000. On the political consequences of privatisation: The case of Telefonos de Mexico. Bulletin of Latin American Research 19.1: 63-79.
Constitucion Politica de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. 2004.
Cook, Maria Lorena. 1995. State-labour relations in Mexico: Old tendencies and new trends. In Mexico faces the 21st century, edited by Donald Schultz and Edward Williams, 77-96. Westport, CT: Praeger.
--. 1996. Organizing dissent. University Park: Pennsylvania State University. Dahl, Robert. 1989. Democracy and its critics. New Haven: Yale University Press.
De La Garza Toledo, Enrique. 1991. Independent trade unionism in Mexico: Past developments and future perspectives. In Unions, workers, and the state, edited by Kevin J. Middlebrook, 153-184. San Diego: University of California, Center for US-Mexican Studies.
--. 1994. The restructuring of state-labour relations in Mexico. In The politics of economic restructuring: State-society relations and regime change in Mexico, edited by Maria Lorena Cook, Kevin Middlebrook, and Juan Molinar Horcasitas, 195-217. San Diego: The Center for US-Mexican Studies, University of California.
--. 1998. Sindicatos, estado y economia en Mexico. In El sindicalismo ante los procesos de cambio economico y social en America Latina, edited by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 183-237. Buenos Aires: Grancharoff S.A.
--. 2001. Democracia y cambio sindical en Mexico. Mexico City: Fundacion Friedrich Ebert.
Eisenstadt, Samuel N., and Luis Roniger. 1981. The study of patron-client relations and recent developments in sociological theory. In Political clientelism, patronage and development, edited by Samuel N. Eisenstadt and Rene Lemarchand, 33-57. London: Sage.
Elizondo, Carlos. 2003. After the Second of July: Challenges and opportunities for the Fox administration. In Mexico's politics and society in transition, edited by Joseph Tulchin and Andrew Selee, 29-54. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Franco, Fernando. 1991. Labour law and the labour movement in Mexico. In Unions, workers, and the state, edited by Kevin J. Middlebrook, 105-120. San Diego: University of California, Center for US-Mexican Studies.
Grayson, George. 1989. The Mexican labour machine: Power, politics and patronage. Washington, DC: CSIS.
--. 1997. Mexico: Corporatism to pluralism. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Graziano, Luigi. 1976. A conceptual framework for the study of clientelistic behavior." European Journal of Political Research. 4: 149-174.
Handelman, Howard. 1997. Mexican politics: The dynamics of change. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Hartog, Joop, and Coen Teulings. 1998. Corporatism or competition? Labor contracts, institutions and wage structure in international comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
LaBotz, Dan. 1992. Mask of democracy: Labour suppression in Mexico today. Boston: South End Press.
Ley Federal del Trabajo. 1970.
Martinez, Fabiola. 2001. La reforma laboral foxista preve la exclusion de los partidos politicos de las negociaciones. In La Jornada, 11 June.
Mayer, Jean F. 2003. The Mexican federal labour law reform process, 2001-2003. Labour, Capital and Society 36.1: 72-103.
--. 2005. Changes and continuity: Labor policy in Mexico after the 2000 regime transition. Indian Journal of Public Administration 51.1: 55-69.
Mexican Labour News and Analysis. Various years and issues.
Middlebrook, Kevin J. 1995. The paradox of revolution: Labour, the state, and authoritarianism in Mexico. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Munoz Rios, Patricia. 2003. La STPS dio "manga ancha" para ajustar toda la ley Abascal: UNT. La Jornada, 3 June.
Murillo, Victoria. 2000. From populism to neoliberalism: Labor unions and market reforms in Latin America. World Politics 52.2: 135-174.
Ortega, Manuel, and Ana Alicia Solis de Alba. 1999. Estado, crisis y reorganizacion sindical. Mexico City: Itaca.
Patroni, Viviana. 1998. The politics of labour legislation reform in Mexico. Capital & Class 65: 107-132.
--. 2001. The decline and fall of corporatism? Labour legislation reform in Mexico and Argentina during the 1990s. Canadian Journal of Political Science 34.2: 249-274.
Przeworski, Adam. 1991. Democracy and the market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Samstad, James G. 2002. Corporation and democratic transition. Latin American Politics and Society 44.4: 1-28.
Santos Azuela, Hector. 1989. La libertad sindical en Mexico. In Modernidad y legislacion laboral, edited by Graciela Bensusan and Carlos Garcia, 30-52. Mexico: FES Editors.
Schmitter, Philip. 1974. Still the century of corporatism? The Review of Politics 36.1: 85-131.
--. 1982. Reflections on where the theory of corporatism has gone and where the praxis of neo-corporatism may be going. In Patterns of corporatist policy-making, edited by Gerhard Lehmbruch and Philippe Schmitter, 33-49. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Shirk, David. A. 2004. Mexico's new politics: The PAN and democratic changes. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
Teichman, Judith. 1996. Economic restructuring, state-labour relations, and the transformation of Mexican corporatism. In Neoliberalism revisited: Economic restructuring and Mexico's political future, edited by Gerardo Otero, 149-166. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Trejo Delabre, Raul. 1990. Cronica del sindicalismo en Mexico (1976-1988). Mexico City: Siglo XXI.
Zapata, Francisco. 1995. El sindicalismo mexicano frente a la reestructuracion. Mexico City: El Colegio de Mexico.
--. 1998. Trade unions and the corporatist system in Mexico. In What kind of democracy? What kind of market?, edited by Philip Oxhorn and Graciela Ducatenzeiler, 151-168. University Park: Pennsylvania University Press.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Changes in Relations between the State and Independent Unions? Mexico under the Fox Presidency. Contributors: Mayer, Jean-Francois - Author. Journal title: Canadian Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Volume: 31. Issue: 61 Publication date: January 2006. Page number: 9+. © Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 2008. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.