Is There a Transition to Democracy in El Salvador?

By Joseph S. Tulchin; Gary Bland | Go to book overview

12
Discussion

John McAward: How do you view, over the next couple of years, the introduction into the assembly of the labor leaders from the National Union of Workers and Farmers (UNOC), and how do you see the relationship between the private sector and labor? How is each side going to better understand each other so that some of the battles that were fought in the 1970s and early 1980s do not repeat themselves? What are some of the changes that have taken place inside the country that might make us more optimistic about this relationship? Finally, are there any labor unions or business executives who could have resolved some of these problems, in light of the experiences elsewhere, such as in the United States, Argentina, or Chile? The one famous case might even be Coca-Cola in Guatemala.

Roberto Murray Meza: I will start with the last question.I do not know of any case where a labor leader promoted this type of a solution. But the case of Mexico, I think, is a good example. President Salinas de Gortari established a three-party pact among labor, the private sector, and the government that tied increases in salaries and improvement in benefits to certain levels of inflation, and those levels were tied, of course, to certain monetary, fiscal, and government policies.The pact was established for an eighteen-month period, after which it was to be renewed, providing there was proof of its success. That was an interesting experiment and something like it will have to happen in El Salvador.

With regard to your first question, two considerations are in order. It is an error to confuse labor activities with political activities. It is an error for labor leaders to become political activists in a party. Labor unions and labor leaders should be able to deal and negotiate with any political party. Their function is more permanent than that of the political term of any party in power.

In the case of El Salvador, there may be something of an exception

-129-

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Is There a Transition to Democracy in El Salvador?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Is There a Transition to Democracy in El Salvador? *
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part 1 El Salvador After the March 1991 Elections 15
  • 1: Elections and the Road to Peace *
  • 2: The Political Reality After Eleven Years of War 25
  • 3: Commentary 59
  • 4: Discussion 63
  • Part 2 the United States and Democracy in El Salvador *
  • 5: The Role of Us Policy *
  • 6: Commentary 73
  • 7: Discussion 77
  • Part 3 the Transition to Democratic Government: Three Key Issues 82
  • 8: Human Rights *
  • 9: The Tanda System and Institutional Autonomy of the Military 95
  • 10: The State of the Economy 105
  • 11: Commentary 125
  • 12: Discussion 129
  • Part 4 the Prospects for Peace *
  • 13: The Negotiations Following the New York Agreement *
  • 14: Discussion 149
  • Part 5 Conclusion *
  • 15: Assessing the Transition to Democracy *
  • Index 206
  • About the Book 213
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